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Avatar 3D December 19, 2009

Posted by Sai in English, Movies, Reviews.
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Cinema means different things to different people. For some, it is about the story. For some, it is about entertainment. For some, it is about technique. For me, it is about the imagination. It is about the effective translation of a vision. And ultimately, it is about the experience.

As far as imagination and experience goes, Avatar is an unparalleled accomplishment. Writer-Director James Cameron (Titanic, Terminator 2) creates a new world that makes the best use of the new technology that he has helped pioneer over the last decade. Pandora (the alien world created for this film) is a masterpiece that sells 3D like nothing ever has in the past.

After Titanic, Cameron once again takes a story with universal appeal  (not to mention the social relevance) and mounts it on a gigantic scale. Cameron immerses you in this new world and the technology is never really at the forefront (except in the logical part of your brain that might tell you it is make-believe). I didn’t really know how involved I was in the film till Pandora was attacked and the pain felt almost tangible.

With motion capture, it is always hard to assess an actor’s performance but it seems much easier with Avatar. Zoe Saldaña (Star Trek) is only seen in her Na’vi (the inhabitants of Pandora) form and stands out as Neytiri. Sam Worthington (Terminator Salvation) plays an able Jake Sully.

It goes without saying that this is an experience that no one should miss. If you are planning to watch this and you are not aware of the technology behind it, my sincere request would be to read a little bit about it to allow yourself to really appreciate a mammoth achievement in filmmaking. And try your best to watch it in IMAX 3D.


1. Shujath - December 21, 2009

I hope I get tickets at least this weekend :((

2. vallabh - December 28, 2009

I loved Pandora. And I am watching it again today, the Monday after Christmas break, so I can find the best seat without having to wait in a long queue. 😀

I believe Avatar was realized not through some revolutionary new technology but through Jim’s uncompromising effort to realize his imagination by seeking, mending and improving proven methods and tools for his needs. And that’s what is needed of every artist even though, sadly, it almost never is the reality.

About the aspects of film, the action sequences have almost placed me IN the scene. This, I think, has more to do with cinematography and emotional attachment that builds-up rather than just the film being in 3D because, years ago, the ship sinking sequences in Titanic had a similar effect on me, despite of it being a 2D film. Also, like for some others out there, the love affair of Jake and Neytiri didn’t quite strike a chord with me. I would have enjoyed it more if there were a few sequences related to plot that actually lead to their love. It felt as if it had to happen rather than something that evolved. I liked the love affair in Titanic better as it actually evolved as story progressed and fits perfectly in the narrative. But, there was so much more happening in this movie that treats our eyes and grips us every moment throughout.

Even though expectations can not deter the experience, the best way to watch this movie is without expectations. I remember the day when we watched the preview of this movie months ago, just before the screening, I said, “Who would remember a trailer screened months before the release day and then watch the movie?”. When I walked out of that preview, I said, “Who would miss this movie in December after watching the preview today?” That’s how effective it was when I knew very little about what was coming.

By the way, is that snow flakes falling over my text? I was adjusting my eyes for a while thinking I was seeing some imaginary stuff. 😀

3. Shujath - January 18, 2010

A week back or so there were reports all over the place about how viewers had depressing and suicidal thoughts after watching Avatar. I couldn’t identify more with them (only the depressing thoughts part :)) as I stepped out of the screening into the real world.

The beauty of Avatar is that the amazing rendering technology and 3D realism only hit you when the movie is over – all along the film Cameron slowly immerses you into his world without any overtly visible gimmicks. I think that’s why the promos of Avatar generated such a huge backlash – with the common complaint that the Na’vi didn’t seem realistic at all. The few glimpses which one got to see could definitely not have the same effect as when you watch the complete film.

James Cameron never really had great stories to tell but when it comes to providing amazing cinematic experiences, he’s always been second to none. Avatar just reaffirms that.

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