Saturday, January 09, 2010

"Avatar" 3D (2009) - Movie Review

“Avatar” a film which has as been quoted and reiterated by many has the breakthrough technology in the motion picture industry of coming ages. Right before I left for vacation, I told the CGI pinnacle in the preposterous film “2012” and here they say nothing can be certain of calling anything a limitation in this field of operation. What James Cameron has achieved will open doors for a totally different kind of film experience. A hybrid of plays and films in a three dimensional world of unimaginable capability. Now, the film is a display of a technology and nothing more than that. Add my tiredness and couple of dozing (literally) scenes, you have got a film with a hollow spirit. This is “Avatar”, Cameron’s insanely expensive project which respects the technology but throws the concept of film making to the factory of predictability with no by product as the main product is well, nothing.

In those many far futures of the world is Pandora, a moon in the darkness of the space inviting the greedy corporates for the minerals which has a high value as that of the film’s distribution back in the Earth. Sam Worthington plays Jake Sully, an ex-marine who has lost his leg been invited to take over for his twin brother in a project at this land. You would imagine there would be a twist using the twin brother concept, but no and there in the very first frame begins the amount of time and characters the movie could have survived without. Jake travels years and years as we enter Pandora along with him. This is imagination taking a wing and spreads far and far beyond the world Cameron uses in his film.

Cameron acknowledges the films parallel with “Dances with the Wolves” and that is unfair. Unfair to that good film which built characters more profound and conflicted than the digitally recreated Na’vi Avatars of Jake Sully and the clan he encounters in this glowing flora and fauna. The inhabitants of this green and colourful land does not constitute the indigenous Na’vi but some dragons and dragon horses and rhino dragon horses which can be controlled by the fibrous live materials protruding through the Na’vi’s hair ends to the animals they ride or control. There is a rare mention of the land these people try to protect from the humans by the Sigourney Weaver’s Dr. Grace Augustine which is the possibility of neurobiological treasure it holds in more than the silly mineral dumbly named “unobtainium”

“Avatar” shames the predictability of “2012” and rivers through the money on these characters ranging from humans to Avatars to the indigenous population. It has a pointless villain in the name of Colonel Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang) with scars as medals and tough old built to reflect his appetite for war. He need no effort in convincing Jake Sully to be his inside informer in this diplomatic operations with the residing people. As Jake conveniently gets lost and acquires the relationship of a female Na’vi named Neyitri (Zoe Saldana), even its doom as a film is predictable.

It appears (from the one snippet review I managed to read of Roger Ebert) that the experience of “Avatar” is getting compared to “Star Wars” which I agree. Yet in the times when a leap as that in technology sufficed in satiating a moviegoer and a critic, the current environment and I will go ahead and say the spirit of movie making begs a little more than that. “Star Wars” as much cheesy and predictable it was, learns and stays within its limitation while this film takes itself more than it supposed to. Two hour and forty minutes feels like day and half for the movie to be over.

Taking into consideration the aspect of unique experience over empty screenplay, “Avatar” did not rank as “300” did with its niche of presentation. Equally in the mode of cruise control of the screenplay, “300” kept me bolted and did not take its seriousness too much. The blood lust and the flesh display turned out to be as it should be taken from the comic book genre of being so. It had a weird appeal of its cartoonish characters and stayed within the strips. “Avatar” has more aspirations than the corporate greedy head Parker Selfridge (Giovanni Ribisi).


Mathi said...

I haven't watched Avatar, but as a reviewer when it comes to 300 you always soft pedal the gore, violence and bloodbath in the guise of it being an animated movie.

300 is a dangerous piece of work which establishes a sense of hyperreality which is so violent and ridiculously shallow and it being backed by CG doesn't really vindicate it at all :)..

Ashok said...

I do agree that there appears a double standard in the judging these two films. I can only say that when I wrote those reviews I was honest about what I felt. It would be a stretch to call "300" a dangerous film because how much ever it is violent and gory, it takes a cartoonish approach to it. It does not justify it but purely becomes a projection of certain egoistic culture those times had. Of course that is reading too much into it. Moreover it had some genuinely good dialogues and decent characters. But "Avatar" did not have anything like that. Some how the experience was not good enough in "Avatar" to make it a good movie while "300" did so.

In thinking about your statement, I do acknowledge the fact of difference in perspective of two films but I do not know how to clearly putforth the reason for liking one and not liking the other.

Barath said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barath said...

Mat, I definitely wont agree that the violence was dangerous in "300". I would classify "Requiem for a dream" as violent and gore than "300". Not sure if I am influenced by Ashok, but I really like "300" and the violence was more of "cartoon book" one than real flesh & blood we see in war or drug addicts or horror movies!