Avatar is a visual delight. It is also a sensual delight. Infact I would go as far as to say that it is as good as it gets.
Well, a harcore TITANIC fan, I went to watch the movie with my own insecurities and reservations. I heard that it broke all TITANIC records worlwide and I should admit I was resentful. Somehow TITANIC being the highest grosser of all time made me proud. I dont know why I felt like I made the movie. Yeah go figure 😛
Well, it turns out that the man who really made the movie, James Cameron, considers himself his biggest competition. So he had AVATAR up his sleeves.Well, he was gracious enough to wait for the technology to catch up with him and when it did…WOW.
The story has nothing new to offer. The magic of AVATAR is in Cameron’s way of story telling. He has an uncanny ability of getting the audience involved in his movies to such a level that it physically hurts to see any unfairness. Its his tried and tested formula. In TITANIC, he makes us fall in love with Jack and Rose, with the grandiose of the ship, he makes us a part of that world, and then he destroys it. He does the same to us here. Jake Sully is not the only one who falls in love with the navi people, we do too. And thats why it hurts physically when humans come with there unfeeling machines to destroy a world which is as close as you can get to paradise..
The film is at once a science fiction, a fantasy, a love story and a story of truimph of good over evil. Here,we humans are the evil ones who have already killed our planet and are now in the proces of destroying their’s.
But the paradox is that Cameron makes us one with the humanoids. Like Jake Sully, we forget we are the bad guys and feel victimised and one with the Navi people. Why? Because these people feel and grieve like us. We have seen many movies where aliens attack us. Well, this is the first one where we get to go into the navi bodies to feel how it feels to be attacked by humans.
The pandora world reminds me of vaguely of a short story by Satyajit Ray where he describes a lost world beyond himalayas with picturesque sceneries and grotesque animals. It also reminds me Harry Potter creatures. The imagination is not new. The ability to turn this imagination into something so tangible is Cameron’s achievement. Ofcourse we like it. We all like to please our senses. And Pandora’s is a seductive beauty..(I hated when I saw those plain concrete roads and the ugly buildings when I came out of the auditorium..it was like..oh well, Earth to Tulika!)
Equally moving is the chemistry between Jake and the Navi woman..(What was her name again?). She is a savage, she is a hunter, she is a warrior, a daughter and a lover. A complete( woman?) No wonder the protagonist falls in love so hard that he betrays his own kind!:D I should also mention Sigourney Weaver, a long time Cameron favorite, who does absolute justice to her charater as the Navi sympathetic doctor.
What I dont understand about the bad guy ( The Colonel) is that why does he carry out the whole Pandora attack as if he has a personal vendetta against the planet. For him, in the end its not about obeying orders, or duty. Its about stubbornness of not accepting defeat. Again. thats very human, but we hate him anyway!
The story is a colonialist story. The white man saves the day. The very able Navi clan leader dies fighting for his people and but our hero is ofcourse invincible. Not only does he get to be the leader of the Navi people, he gets to mate and marry the chief’s daughter too.
Well, the movie ended after the human defeat but I am sure Jake was able to rebuild the whole Pandora in all its glory in the years to come :P. The only thing that downplays the colonial streak is that in the end Jake becomes one of them. He discards his body and and lets his Navi soul take over. We understand that. After all thats why the Mugals are considered Indians and the Britishers aren’t right?
Anyway, all said and done, I loved the movie. As for its comparison with TITANIC, “no comments!”
I would just like to say that James Cameron is the undisputed father of the movies. I read one of his interviews where he compares film making to child birth. Its a painful process but you cant help going through it every few years.. Well for a man who has given birth to two kids like Titanic and Avatar, I would say, You better have a long long reproductive cycle!!