Friday, December 18, 2009

Avatar (2009)

IMDB Rating: 8.4 / 10
Runtime: 162 mins
Language: English
Country: USA
Color: Color
IMDb Link:

Director: James Cameron
Sam Worthington ...    Jake Sully
Zoe Saldana ... Neytiri
Sigourney Weaver ... Dr. Grace Augustine
Stephen Lang ... Colonel Miles Quaritch
Michelle Rodriguez ... Trudy Chacon
Giovanni Ribisi ... Parker Selfridge
Joel Moore ... Norm Spellman (as Joel David Moore)
CCH Pounder ... Moat
Wes Studi    ... Eytukan
Laz Alonso ... Tsu'tey
Dileep Rao ... Dr. Max Patel
Matt Gerald ... Corporal Lyle Wainfleet
Sean Anthony Moran ... Private Fike

Okay here's how it is.
Whenever I hear that a movie is extremely ancipated...every time a movie is super-hyped...I get worried. I ask myself "Will this live up to the expectations? Can it really be that good?"
Most often it turns out, the movie is crap...or if not crap, definitely not as great as it was made up to be.

When it comes to "Avatar"...that certainly is NOT the case.
It's everything everyone thought it could be and so much more. It's a modern day classic and that is why it finds a very comfortable place on my blog where I will mostly be writing about classics.
50 years down the line when they look back at all the great movies that were made, someone will probably say "Some of the best movies in the last 100 years were movies like Gone With The Wind, Casablanca, Inglourious Basterds :) and Avatar" (Couldn't resist putting IB in there too).

Why you ask me do I think that? I'll tell you why.

In my opinion, today, I saw the future of movies. I'm not saying computer technology was bad till this movie came along, but with the manner in which animation and 3D technology was used in this movie...I now feel that NOTHING is inconceivable any more. If you can think it, it can be made.
No longer will movie makers worry about getting the top draw actors for great movies. They can literally manufacture them now. (I know you still need the voices but what I'm saying is, say Tom Cruise wants to chill and eat a lot and gain a few pounds, he can still be a highly paid actor, if his voice is what a movie needs. :)
Visually, this was indubitably the MOST stunning thing I have ever seen. And I've seen a LOT of movie in my time on this rock.
It was artistic and absolutely breathtaking. And it wasn't just senseless art or beauty for the heck of it.
It fit in. It fit in so fabulously with the art.

I read a lot as well and honestly, in my opinion, only when you read a lot can you truly appreciate the beauty of a movie like Avatar. I remember reading Lord Of The Rings and visualizing the whole book in my mind's eye. When the movies came out, I fell in love with them, because they took everything I could imagine and they did more! I was able to see things that I had just imagined. That to me is the brilliance of a great film based on a fantasy world.
Authors like Asimov and Tolkein were absolutely brilliant because they built a whole world for you to live in and become a part of.
Movies like Star Wars and Star Trek are cult because they also gave you worlds and characters and universes to  be a part of.
Comic book based movies, superhero movies work so well because of the characters they let you be in your head.
All of these become iconic...cult...because they let you escape reality as you can generally imagine it and they let you live in a brilliant new reality.

Avatar...can now be added to the list of movies that have given us a new world to live on. You can NOT watch this movie and not want to be on Pandora (the planet where the story takes place), I can bet you really can't not want to be a Na'vi (the race of the indigenous humanoids on Na'vi) or fly a Banshee (a.k.a ikran - the animals that the Na'vi fly on) or ride a Direhorse (a.k.a pa'li - the horselike creatures with six legs that the Na'vi ride). The list goes on about the cool things this movie has that you'd want to be able to do.
Like I said, Avatar gives you an escape. In a world like our's where everyday can be a chore for most people, isn't an escape exactly the thing everyone is looking for.
What is Bollywood for most mundane Indians.
This what Bollywood dreams of being some day.
This isn't a world where you live like a normal guy and escape is a sudden jump into London or Switzerland with 40 random people dancing behind you.
This is a WORLD in itself. It's very believable and you know you can find a place in it a lot easier than seeing yourself suddenly bursting into a song and finding yourself surrounded by 40 people who know your every move. Well, I digress. :)

What makes the movies spectacular however is how brilliant the story was.
It was the story of human civilization taken to the next level. How? Well, think about what was the basic concept of the movie.
Advanced civilization meets primitive civilation. Wants something that they have. They don't get it because the natives won't what does the advanced civilization do like any "advanced" civilization would do...they blow the natives to Kingdom come and go after what they want.
Think about the Christians and the Pagans around the world...the multiple examples and you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. The Spanish did this when they reached South America, the British did it every bloody place they went, the Egyptians did it to the Africans...history is littered with examples where the relatively more advanced people always blew over the relatively less advanced people. There were however times when the underdogs won out. It took them a while and it was never easy...but they won at last.

The greatest stories in human history are about the victory of the underdogs...and Avatar is that respect possibly the greatest story that can be told. I won't give much away. I DO want you to see the movie to know what I'm talking about.

It's also a story of love...a love that transcends two people (though there's a bit of that too). Its a story of universal love, of harmony with nature and the thoughts of an ideal world.
Its got it all. Violence, sorrow, joy, fear, bravery, courage, love...all the good things you need to concoct a good, nay, a great story.

It had moments when you get goosebumps, when you feel dreadfully sad and when you can't help but whoop out with joy! It makes you want to be a kid again. It makes you want to be...there!
That to me boys and girls, is what makes a GREAT film...and Avatar...for all these reasons and not for the hype, is a GREAT film!

Wait. I have to make an honest heartfelt appeal. Today is just day 1 and I have an almost personal connection now to this movie. I WANT it to do well. Its one of those movies that as a movie someone who loves great stories, I WANT to share with people. I WANT people to see this and talk about it.
I WANT it to do ludicrously well. I WANT it to break all records and be a path breaker. I'm quite certain that across the world, that is what it WILL do. It's just that good.
But my brothers and sisters in this glorious nation...(and I'm not sarcastic when I say this, I mean, we are a glorious nation) not for the love of everything that is good in this world, miss out on this.
Don't think that its just hype. Tell it your friends...and tell them to tell their's. Go see the movie and insist that everyone you know should see it too.
Don't miss it! You'll regret it many years later when it won't be in theaters and you'll have to desperately wait for some film festival or something to see it again on the big screen.

I saw it in 2D today. I'm going tomorrow morning to see it in 3D!
(Another first for me. I have seen movies more than once before,  but the second viewing has always  been at home on my tv. First time, I'm going back to a theater, and that too in a span of 24 hours to see a movie for the second time.)

The Moviemania Rating: 9.9/10
I'll never rate any movie a 10. I always want to believe that something better can come along.
But this is as close as it can get to being perfect!
Mr.Cameron...brilliant job! What a brilliant job indeed!

Avatar 3D
I just got home from watching it in 3D. I know why I didn't give it a 10/10 rating last night. It was because I had yet to see it in 3D.
I thought I had seen the future of movie making yesterday. That seems almost like a metaphor. I know now that I truly have seen the future!
3D movies made like this. That's the way to go. Its the closest you can get to  being "in" the movie.
This is the first time in my life, that I've watched a movie twice in the span of 24 hours and that too in a theater. If I had to do that sometime, I'm glad that I've done it for Avatar!

Can't wait for the DVD to come out. I hope it's loaded with more stuff than the movie had.
You just can't get enough of this.
I know a lot of you didn't like the movie though I can't figure out why that is.
I however, did like it and I'm totally cool with vociferously recommending it to anyone who's not seen it yet! :)

Like I said last night. Go see it. See it in 3D. After you've seen it, see it again!
Why? Because IT'S JUST THAT GOOD! :)

The Moviemania Rating: 10/10
Well I know nothing's perfect and all that jazz but come on. Who am I kidding. If this movie doesn't deserve a 10/10 I don't know what does!
The only other movies for me in this class are Lord Of The Rings, Star Wars, the new Star Trek movie, Rocky and maybe a handful more.
A true modern day classic!


MusicManMihir December 18, 2009 at 9:05 AM  

Hey there! Do let me know what you think.
About Avatar...and what I had to say :)

allvishal December 18, 2009 at 9:17 AM  

Watched it in digital 3D yesterday, and while I enjoyed a lot of the sequences and set pieces, I did not like the movie (reviewed it here, but be warned, it's harsh: But that's okay, I'm fairly strange that way. :)

I am glad that movies can still instill such love in people though.

Anonymous,  December 18, 2009 at 9:21 AM  

will watch it soon...

Poonam December 18, 2009 at 10:35 AM  

After so much asking, you still went for 2D. Good you are checking out 3D.

I love the way how this review is based on personal reactions. You have captured your ecstasy at watching movie very well in words. It's infectious. :)

MusicManMihir December 18, 2009 at 10:42 AM  

Checking out your blog now Vishal :)

Anonymous ... go see it soon! :)

Poonam...I went for 2D only because 3D wasn't available and I really wanted to see it today! :)
Going for 3D tomorrow!
Thanks for the kind words. I just write the way I talk. So comes out the way it does :)

Vikas Gupta December 18, 2009 at 9:17 PM  

I didn't like it! 9.9 out of 10!? That is for LOTR!

MusicManMihir December 19, 2009 at 1:21 AM  

Oh this is in the same league!
For sure! :)

Neha December 19, 2009 at 7:25 AM  

Watched it twice back to back, 2D & 3D! Need I say more? ;)

Go Avatar! :D

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