Avatar: Of Splendor and Absurdness

It is today that Avatar has been officially declared world’s number two film, surpassing Gandalf and his hobbits of LotR: Return of the King. When someone of James Cameron’s mettle takes close to fifteen years in making a movie, the whole world has to have an opinion about it. You have to either love it, sing praises of it and make it the number two film of all times, or you have to malign it until it begins to resemble the kerchief you dropped in a muddy puddle and then a convoy drove over it.

So much has been said about this film, but the best-est thing I read about it online was here. Although, I whole heartedly agree with this summary, I still loved Avatar enough to watch it twice over a weekend.

The movie is about those colossal but striking aligns and much credit to the director for not wasting too much time before introducing those. The movie sets up the basic background of the story, and introduces the characters and establishes the motives swiftly, and while I was still marveling how Phoebe’s brother could talk so cleverly, the stunning avatars were introduced.

Phoebe's Brother Can Talk Straight!

Phoebe’s brother interestingly wants the supremely expensive and rare metal imaginatively called Unobtainium. The metal is very rare because it is only found on Pandora, but is also very expensive. Wonder if it is the new bullion on planet earth? Whatever the reason, Phoebe’s brother must obtain large quantities of Unobtainium by digging deep into Pandora, and for that he has hired two teams: team one is made of scientists who are cloning the beings of Pandora and by taking their form, they want to mingle and then obtain Unobtainium for Phoebe’s brother. They are the good people. Team two is that of the military people, who are ready to kill to obtain the Unobtainium for Phoebe’s brother. They are the bad people, more so because they are not fighting for their nation/planet but for money that Phoebe’s rich (another shock to me!) brother pays them. Very bad people, indeed.

Jake Sully - The Good People

Jake Sully, awesomely portrayed by Sam Worthington, is a twin of one of the good people who got murdered and the other good people had no choice but to bring the handicapped ex-marine in because he shares the DNA with the avatar of his brother, seen in the background of the above picture. Yes! That is how ridiculous the story is. But sincerely, I do not care. Not now, not when I was watching the film. For despite being of the length of a Bollywood movie, the film is well-paced and things happen all the time; also, nothing happens without a reason. The attention to detail is amazing.

Colonel Miles - The Bad People

I found the villain of the film quite well chalked out as well. Stephen Lang is the colonel who heads the military operations and is ready to kill. Just look at his get up, is it not perfect? He looks every bit like the guy who takes pleasure in pumping bullets, but does not like to waste any. My attention was directed to the gang-like ring he is wearing throughout the film, which is not explained (thankfully) but totally adds to his character. Besides him, the director paid complete attention to the ships, war-vessels, and bots used by the humans in the film. Considering that the movie was set in a fantastical land, it was very easy for the makers to forget about the usual human things. Extra points from me for making such convincing military base and vessels.

Birds of Steel Also Impress

So yeah, the good guys get into their avatars and land on Pandora, the astonishingly striking planet with creatures of great splendor.  The opening scene on the Pandora finds Jake Sully walking around amazed and curious, touching everything hesitatingly and I felt as if I was right there with him! Maybe it was the 3D effect, maybe the splendid visuals, or maybe good direction of the scene, but I found myself gasping and sighing with the avatar on the screen. Especially, the fireflies and the touch-me-nots took my breath away.

Of Climbing Trees and Making Friends

Here, the movie changes pace and becomes all about discovering the wonders of Pandora and every frame is stunning. Jake Sully befriends Neytiri, played by Zoe Saldana, who is obviously the chieftain’s daughter. She also is betrothed to the successor chieftain and of course, our Jake Sully hits on her big time. She likes. Together they ride gorgeous beasts by connecting to the animals with the thin stems coming out of their own braids, catch fireflies, skip on trees, and tame dragons. He is a nincompoop in Pandora land to begin with, but being a super fast learner, he impresses Neytiri in no time.

Neytiri: The Real Good People

I was supremely impressed by Zoe Saldana in the film. She has the raw magnetism of a big cat and at the same time is graceful and refined as a girl could be. I flipped over the two scenes where she jumps and puts her body over her lover’s to protect him, and then growls. Oooh, so cool!!

The indigenous live in a humongous tree called home tree that sits atop the largest deposit of Unobtainium. They pray to another tree – The Tree of Souls, which connects the life cycle of everything  on Pandora.  The life of the Navi (people of Pandora) and their routines reminded us of Dances with Wolves. Oh yes, same old same old. But, did I not have fun following them around in this fantastic world?

Neytiri Again: Because She is Grand

The good people are taking too long in mingling and convincing the Navi; obviously because they are more busy wooing the Navi chicks. The bad people are growing impatient and decide to forget the whole avatar bullshit and come down old school – tanks, coppers, and big friggin’ guns. The good guys want to protect the Navi, and therefore, change sides. Phoebe’s brother does not like being double-crossed, but colonel Miller does not like it even more. So he decides to kill the good people before he kills the Navi, but the indigenous also want to kill the good people because the good people are essentially conniving liars who have had a change of heart.

Lover's Tiff? A Little Worse, I'd Say

Amidst a lot of commotion, and accompanied by the few other good people, Jake Sully needs to save the Navi. But before he does that, he must win back their (and more importantly, his girl’s) trust. So he decides to tame the un-tameable great dragon – Toruk. Of course, he succeeds. He has the cunning of the being of the planet earth, does he not? So riding on Toruk’s back, he thus proceeds to save Navi from the greed of Phoebe’s brother, colonel, and his cronies.

Battle in the Air

The climax fight sequence is as stunning as the initial introduction of the align planet. They fight amidst hanging mountains, clouds, and all things pretty to the eye. The action sequences were well done, especially because they were extremely easy to follow. I wish the movie ended with the falling of the colonel. Despite its ordinary and ridiculous in parts story, the film would have been perfect to me. Alas, it was not to be.

The next scene shows the Navi sending Phoebe’s brother and his other non-military type people back into their ships. Only a few are allowed to stay. Such a dampener, this scene was. But what came next was even worse. Nytiri’s mother (the physic of the Navi) proceeds to transfer Jake Sully’s sole into his avatar with amazing ease and expertise of someone who does so every day before breakfast. Bah.

I know they want to make a sequel, or at least keep their doors open. I do not have any problem with that. But wonder what is wrong in a well-paced neat little recap followed by bridging the gap in the next movie?

All said and done, I let those little things pass by. The over all experience is brilliant and that is why I loved the film.


2 Responses to “Avatar: Of Splendor and Absurdness”

  1. I do not mind the Meme’s to take the piss out of Avatar’s resemblence with Pocahontas or for that matter – Dancing with the Wolves.

    But when critics go all about – meh, bad acting, predictable “Save the rainforest” storyline, it gets on me nerves.

    I LOLed when u referred to Giovanni Ribisi as Phoebe’s bro 🙂 U shud also refer to Neytiri as Uhura in Blue 😛

    I loved loved loved this movie. I cannot get tired of declaring my undying love for this movie and I cannot wait for the sequel.

    As for my long-ass rant on this[ I know, you were waiting for this bit :P.. as in kab Sujoy will self-promote his post] here’s the link..



  2. Did not see this piece! I love u! 🙂

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