Sunday, December 20, 2009

Whats your Avatar?

"The thing that I can't tolerate is, there's soon going to be this next dumb quiz on facebook -  What's your avatar? " said my friend, after the movie ended, and while we were walking down the dark alleys on a silent and cold night, on our way back home. That summed up our feelings for the night, after a movie that sure excited us by its awesome graphics and pure innovation. Truly, we were all taken to the Pandora's for a little over couple of hours. Summed up by James Cameron as one of his life achievements even before the movie released, this baby of his is definitely worth a watch. Its truly creditable that the entire movie, right from its conception until its execution was in its own realm of unbridled imagination and ecstasy.

With very little story value, the movie, Avatar, has the freedom to explore the hidden depths of one's imaginative mind. And it definitely has taken advantage of this freedom of imagination resulting in a stupendous visual feast - the colours throughout the movie are simply amazing. The fluorescent flowers, the huge leaves, the multi-legged creatures, the winged mounts that soar the skies - all these form the core of the movie that charms the audience and binds them by its sheer magic.

The movie is a must watch, if you would allow yourself to be guiled by the lack of logic and science. And when you are given a date that far out in the future, you are entitled the rights to throw in gadgets and concepts as you like. Avatar is short of neither, and you have everything right from machines that transmit brain signals across to a different biological entity to a civilization that makes use of neural networks of the orders of 10^12 that enables them communicate with trees and animals alike. After dealing with Asymptotics for half the year, these numbers seemed to be more than realistic to me though. The screenplay, if there was any, was simple and clean with no major hiccups or aberrations. The entire movie was apparently taken with the help of human motion sensors to capture the motions of actors in the set and transmit them to the natives that makes it amazingly realistic.

Just so that the review remains fair enough and covers all aspects of the movie and to bring back the admirers from the sheer awesomeness of the visual treat, I would probably have to bring out things that struck me rather ordinary in the movie. The story would instantly remind you of any tamil/telugu movie flick with its standard package of romance and heroism. And, my international friends, if you have liked those aspects of the movie in particular, I'd recommend that you watch a few Indian movies with/without sub-titles which I am sure are full of these. And if you make sense of just one of these movies, its just a contextual switch that you need to flip and language isn't a barrier any more. The indicator random variable would invariably point to 1 up, then on.. :-)

Length of the movie was another thing that I have always wanted directors to be aware of, perhaps with the rare exception of a few movies that have a very strong story line to back up the length. While not withstanding the fact that Avatar is a visual treat (esp in 3D which I've heard is simply awesome), the 165 min runtime seemed to be an overkill for the movie. It's my firm belief that no matter how good or beautiful a particular feature is- an overdose is definitely a killer.

As a final note, I would definitely recommend the movie- its truly a next step forward as far as the technology and innovation is concerned. However, I'd definitely not rate it at par with the Lord of the rings, Troy, or A Beautiful Mind. It wasn't designed to compete with movies of this genre, but to create a new class of its own!

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