Friday, January 1, 2010

Avatar - The First of its Kind

Everything is backwards now, like out there is the true world and in here is the dream  - Jake Sully

Fourteen years in the making, with an estimated budget of more than $280 million, and the comeback film of the Man who gave us Terminator and Titanic, but this time James Cameron the Man plays God. He is the creator of Pandora- his creation, his vision and the USP of Avatar. When the first few minutes of Avatar unfurl in front of your 3-D glasses covered eyes, you cant help but to applaud the vision of James Cameron. If Edison has given us the light bulb, Alexander Graham Bell the telephone- creations that make you think "How did they do it?", then James Cameron's name should be taken in the same breath as these great creators, for Avatar will change the face of how cinema will be experienced in the future.

Pandora is a world which cannot be described in words, Cameron has gone through every minute detail that goes into making a planet. The creatures, the colors, the flora and fauna, their characteristics has been flawlessly etched out in the movie. The 3-D glasses help you see the world of Cameron through his eyes, you feel like you are living in Pandora, you feel like you can touch what you see. I did reach out and try to grab everything that came out of the screen, yes that sounds silly, but that is how you become when something surreal is unfolding in front of your eyes. Cameron uses colors and loads of it to convey the feel of the movie, Pandora, a moon, is filled with multicolor luminescent creatures that are dangerous yet jaw dropping. Different shades of  blue, indigo, green, violet beautifully interspersed with environment leaves you spellbound. The Na'vi tribe that are the inhabitants of Pandora are on a war with the Humans, the greedy corporate machine Resources Development Administration who have evaded their land in search of a mineral that will help them solve the energy crisis back on Earth.

Jake Sully a paraplegic ex-marine is enrolled in the Avatar program in which his 3-D version is sent out to Pandora to mingle amongst the Na'vi tribe and gather more information about the place. He befriends the Na'vi princess Neytiri and as expected falls in love with her, and from here begins a tale which we have heard over and over again. Jake's avatar slowly undergoes a change of heart as he connects with the simple nature loving tribe as he gets to know their way of living, and as expected he starts fighting for the Na'vi tribe against the evil corporate machine which is headed by the rough and tough Colonel Miles Quaritch. And this is where Avatar turns out as a total let down. Labeling Avatar a "Classic" will do gross injustice to movies like Terminator, LOTR and Jurassic Park who in their time had redefined cinema viewing experience. Along with the enormous production budget, and brilliant story telling, and great casting, these three movies had the movie moments and the dialogues which still linger in our minds, and this is what Avatar lacks, the movie moments and dialogues thanks to some lackluster writing.

Avatar is a complete popcorn entertainer and is to be watched with your brains left outside the hall. The Man vs Nature theme could have been more explored on, and at a lengthy 2 hrs 43 mins runtime the film starts to lose its "wow factor" as the effects of the 3-D glasses start to slowly but surely wear down. The movie is more like The Last Samurai and Dances with Wolves where the protagonist joins the ones who is fighting against after being smitten by their culture, it is a repeated theme but the two movies were gifted with some great writing. Avatar could have joined that league had equal importance been given to the writing as it was given to the visuals.

James Cameron has indeed made a pathbreaking film,a trendsetter, one to be enjoyed only in 3-D, I salute his commitment, grit, and vision for having given millions around the world a never-seen-before experience. Avatar will be remembered as the one that started it all, the first of its kind. And lets hope the ones to follow shall not just be remembered for its 3-D effects.

A plea: People who come to watch movies with their family that includes noisy kids kindly teach em some manners, we spend the same amount of money as you have to watch the film and we have the same enthusiasm as you have to watch it along with the people we love. Have the sense to either leave them at home or to take them out of the hall when they create a ruckus.

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