Sunday, January 17, 2010

An Avatar Like No Other

Avatar is gotta be one of the biggest movie in the history of mankind. Watching the trailer alone will not shed enough light what the whole movie has to offer. In fact me, myself did not have high expectation for this movie when I first heard about it. I thought this is just another movie which uses beautiful poster and awesome trailer to entice its viewers. How wrong was I. My prediction was totally invalid and I must admit that Avatar, is certainly a movie like no other. I was literally blown into pieces when my eyes witnessed arguably one of the greatest movies of my time.

Movie of the year!

It doesn't matter that the envious critics kept on condemning Avatar as a lousy movie; It doesn't matter that the pundits are castigating Avatar, protesting that it is all about the 3D and not about the story. You know what? It just doesn't matter anymore. The way Avatar is dominating the box office is a testament that all the critics are just being resentful of Avatar's runaway results! Avatar is already out-of-this world (or earth)!

Meet the Na'vi

Since its opening in mid-December, Avatar has been conquering the box-office No.1# spot for the 4 straight weeks. And I don't see how Avatar's rampant run can be halted. Avatar is now the second highest grossing film of all time with a worldwide gross of US$1.34billion! So will Avatar, being the fastest film to reach US$1billion, dethrone its older sibling-Titanic? I have never watched Titanic and I hope Avatar can topple the for former. It's going down the wire but I'm putting all my money (Sai Lan!) on Avatar nonetheless. Whatever the outcome, James Cameron is a proud man.

Warning: Spoilers ahead. Lots of them.

I thing Avatar now ranks second in my top 10 movie list. With Lord of The Rings still clenching on to their No.1 spot. What's so special about Avatar that sets it apart from the other movies? Is it the so-called new breathtaking 3D technology that Cameron used? Of course that is a very important factor but I still believe without good story-telling involved, the whole movie will be so hollow. Kudos to Cameron for vividly narrating Avatar to us, as if Pandora really exists. Cameron's scripts and direction was so flawless that the whole movie is so believable.

Jake Sully & his avatar.

The movie was set in 2154 on Pandora. It started off with Jake Sully waking up in a cyro. Jake, a former marine, replaced his twin brother, who was a scientist, to be an Avatar operator. Avatar is actually a Na'vi body modified with human DNA grown by scientists. So why on earth Avatar was created? Simply put, Avatar is human's diplomatic approach to "force" the native Na'vi to evacuate from their Hometree. Below the huge sacred tree is an abundant source of Unobtainium. It is these US$20million per kilo Unobtanium that drives the humans to Pandora.

One of the sacred trees.

If there is a place like Pandora on earth, it gotta be heaven. I mean the scenery is simply breathtaking. The floras are stunning especially those fluorescence flowers and plants. They are simply mesmerizing. Likewise the animals inhabiting Pandora are equally captivating or weird if you like. Do you notice that most of the animals have 6 limbs. This really makes me wonder. I mean almost everything on Pandora has 4 forelegs and 2 hind legs. Why is that? Hmm...

Neytiri riding a 6-legged "cat".

Of course the main inhabitant of Pandora is the Na'vi. Na'vis are blue-skinned species that resembles us, human. Their skin has glow-in-the-dark fluorescent pigments which is really cool. They are physically stronger and taller (3m I guess) and they have this weird feline characteristics. The Na'vis have tails. And all of them have this weird extension at the end of their "braided ponytail". It is this so-called extension that allows them to bond with virtually anything on Pandora; from plant to horses. A mind-blowing concept if you ask me. Is this really your idea Cameron?

Pandora is a heaven?

One of the part I love the most is the bonding ritual of Jake with an Ikran (or banshee). This bonding process is extremely dangerous. Unlike the bonding with a horse, when a Na'vi is bonded with an Ikran it will be for the whole life. Yeah! This means that the Ikran is very loyal and devoted. I wish I can have my own Ikran too. Then I can glide freely on the air...just like the Na'vi.

An Ikran!

Critics rebuked Avatar as a movie that depended too heavily on their new 3D technology. But I thought it was the opposite. James Cameron is a genius I tell you. Knowing that the 3D he employed will somehow take the gloss away, Cameron decided to focus heavily on the characters and storytelling part. If you really pay close attention, you will realize that the cast involved is really small. This is because Cameron wanted to develop all the characters and enable us, the viewers, to "bond" with them. I would say that he has succeeded.

Floating mountains?

I believe Cameron takes a lot of time and effort to pick the right actors and actresses to fill up the huge, gaping shoes. Sam Worthington is outstanding as Jake Sully, both the human and Avatar version. Sigourney, an old hand in science fiction movie really breathe life into her character. But I thought Zoe Zaldana who plays Neytiri is simply in her element especially her face expression. The way she moves; the way she holler; the way she carry herself...goodness...she makes me feel Na'vi is real.

The flawless Neytiri!

Likewise, the movie will not be that enjoyable without Colonel Miles Quaritch played by Stephen Lang. He is so pivotal and he really exudes that heart-piercing aura that makes his character so stone-cold and convincing. I wouldn't say that Quaritch is a villain though. He is simply carrying out his duties. Again, James Cameron really did his homework.

Quaritch ready to rumble!

Now let's move on to the story. The whole movie is based on one simple theme. It is about how the indigenous trying to protect their home soil from invaders. In the movie, we can see how closely bonded the Na'vi and the nature (or Eywa) are. The Na'vi are willing to die to see their beautiful homeland free from the clenches of those unscrupulous marauders.

I see you...

And the bonding is not only limited between the Na'vi and the nature. The bonding also transcend among them. Still remember their simple but magical line-I see you? It doesn't mean that I can see you physically. I believe "I see you" means I know you are here and I can feel you with my heart. I can touch you with my soul, bond with you and let you feel me too. I love it. Ha :D

Last but not least do you know that Cameron actually asked a professor to create the Na'vi language? Yeah! So it was really a pain in the ass for the actors to memorize their scripts. Ha :D Ok, I guess that's all from me folks. So have you watched this movie yet? You don't wanna miss it. Why? Because it is a movie like no other. I might watch Avatar for the 3rd time. Ha :D

~First Commenter~