Thursday, January 07, 2010

A world apart

So we finally watched Avatar in 3D last night. In a fit of insanity, we had booked tickets for a 9:30 pm show, completely forgetting that it was a three-hour movie and the next day was not only a work day, it was a day when I had an early morning teleconference with the US office. (Redbull saw me through.)

Here are some random thoughts on the movie:

  • The first things we noticed when we entered the theatre were flashes from mobile phones and cameras. This was even before the ads and trailers. And then we realised why people were excitedly taking pictures of each other --- everyone was looking like a dork in the ridiculous 3D glasses!
  • Viv, of course, tried to wear them upside down, sideways and what not, and came up with some geeky theories which I didn't couldn't listen to.
  • The very first shot of Pandora reminded me of New Zealand. The ending credits confirmed it was New Zealand indeed. Truly the most beautiful country in the world I have seen.
  • I nearly fell off my chair when Neytiri started speaking. I could swear that the first few lines she spoke were in Singlish. The only one I can remember at this point is "Cannot do that!" or something like that.
  • I am not a huge fan of 3D movies, but this one, oh boy! I actually dodged a piece of shrapnel that came flying towards me. Sheesh. Embarrassing as hell, but hopefully no one noticed.
  • My friend Aathira had told me that the movie was very Bollywood-ish and when I watched it, I realised how right she was. Starting from the three-hour duration, the outsider entering a tribe, the angry father, the falling in love with chief's daughter, the jealous fiance who becomes an ally when adversity strikes, the tribal song and dance, the lambi choti (hehe!), the magical healing, the betrayal, I half expected Jake to say something extremely Bollywood-ish like, "Mujhe kya pata tha mujhe sach mein tumse pyaar ho jaayega?" and Neytiri to say "Hamara pyaar pavitra hai!" when her parents questioned her on the mating (that too in front of ancestors! Sheesh!) Anyway, Viv said that it would have been cool if they had used the fusing braid-fibres to mate. I was horrified. "Dude, he did that with the horse thingie and the dragon thingie!"
  • We stayed till the ending credits even though it was past midnight. I was really amazed to see that they had got a PhD guy to come up with the Na'vi language. The level of detail that went into the movie is truly stupendous.
  • Loved the not-so-subtle references to the US and middle-east. "When someone's sitting on shit that you want, you make them your enemy." Hear hear.
  • Normally, I hate war scenes, but in this movie, I was lapping up every second of the three-hour spectacle. I do wish we had chosen a saner time though. Viv actually dozed off for a few minutes!
  • I wondered if they intentionally called the mineral 'unobtanium' because they couldn't obtain it?
  • Even though the concept of the Avatar was very similar to what we have seen in The Matrix and The 13th floor, the execution was the killer, no pun intended.
  • The movie is incredibly powerful, and it's not just because of the stunning visuals. I always tell Viv that you should never watch back-to-back movies or even movies on consecutive days because you need the next day to let the movie sink in without diluting its effect. Only the movies that play and stay in the head a day after you have watched them mean something. Everything else is trash.
  • I totally loved the ending. Not just because it took me by surprise (I had kind of expected Jake to go back to Earth and try and make that a better place), but also because of the way the last shot was done, with his Avatar's eyes opening suddenly. Simply beautiful.
  • Lastly, I loved what Raja Sen said in his review, "James Cameron, living up to his initials, has delivered a miracle."


Sanchit said...

after perhaps an year, i yell again.. Gold... Nice post..

Anonymous said...

silver.. for the first time.. woohoo :D
now lemme read the post =P

Tejal said...

i wanna watch the movie i wanna i wanna!! :'( :'(
i want gold! :'(

Anonymous said...

ah avatar... its kinda matrix-ish too.. and what's the deal with everything (read: EVERYTHING) being ultra super glowy at Pandora?

Sanchit said...

@Shaiz, that was all rin ki chamkar

Neha said...

Im in love with the movie too! apart from Matrix this is the only movie i know that has dealt with alternate existence. And yes, the last "eye-opening" shot finished off the movie brilliantly..

~ Lopa said...

Aaaah one more Avatar fan... from the day this movie got released, i am yet to know a single soul who told me he didn't like the movie and everyday atleast from one person i hear how nice is the movie....:)

Initially when i watched promo, i was not that keen on watching it, but then when i watched promos quite a few times in theatre before starting of every movie, we kinda started waiting for a movie release date and on Wednesday as it was released eventhough it was a weekday and we had office next day we ran, yup making same mistake like you did, going for a night show which made us back home 1:30 am !

Aaaah, but it was worth it, truly Spectacular and excellent 3D. For this movie they gave us different glasses, kinda disposable than what we have been seeing here for other 3D movies, big square goggles, this one was thinner and more comfortable, i liked it :)

Now i wonder, why didn't i made a blog post on this movie !! hehehe

vineet said...

you still read raja sen's review, even after the 3 idiots fiasco....? disown him

Sri Harsha Dandibhotla said...

about the unobtainium -

Macho Girl said...

I'm guessing you liked the movie :P :P

Totally agree on the bollywood storyline. It was too predictable! If it werent for the effects, it wouldn't have been worth it.

About the storyline, have you seen the Pocahontas script rip off joke online? Its pretty hilarious if you've watched both movies :)

SweetWICK said...

YOu made me want to go watch this movie! Nice blog!

Swapna Raghu Sanand said...

Thanks for the detailed, personalized review! Would have loved it if you'd posted the dorkish pics too:)

~ Lopa said...

One more thing came to my mind so came back to comment :D ( ya ya i know my prev. comment was long enough...hehe)

One of my friend said, it is hollywood's Namakharam.... how ?
There Amitabh(a owner of a big mill) sent his friend Rajesh Khanna to a community of a mill worker to befriend them to influence them not to go against him... but gradually rajesh khanna understands mill worker's problem n there is rift between the friends n ultimately the mill workers win.... hahahaha.... log kya kya link kar pate hai na?? :D

Arun said... Wiki answers your question about Unobtainium. It has a respectable pedigree in engineering literature.

Arun said...

Conservatives hate the movie, e.g., David Brooks in the NYT. I wonder what your reply to him would be?

Sayesha said...

Yaar tu toh teetotaller ho gaya hai, aaj kal bar mein dikhta hi nahin hai!


Dekh na yaar!! Roti rehti hai bas! :)

Heee... you're asking the wrong person. I wanted to walk in the jungle and have everything glow under my toes too. :P


Hey you should watch The 13th Floor aka the Baap of Matrix. I found it better, at least better than the Matrix sequels!

Same pinch! Even I was not that keen to watch when I saw the trailer, but everyone else was going nuts so I said what the heck, let's go. SO GLAD I DID!!! :D

Raja ka aur mera barson ka bandhan hai, aise kaise abandon kar doon? :P Actually, considering how much he gets flamed on Rediff, he needs some believers like me. :)

Ooooh thanks for the link! I had NO IDEA!! :)

#Macho Girl,
Hey, long time no see! :) Heard about the Pocahontas thingie, but haven't watched. :)

Thanks! Hope you watched it! :)

Hahhaa! We didn't take any dorky pics unfortunately! :P Next time! :D

Hahaha... both your comments together can make one post. But I like it! It's great to see such passion in the comments section where you see one-liners most of the time. :)
PS: LOL at the Namak Haram reference Your friend sounds even crazier than me!! :D

Thanks for the link! :)

To tell you the truth, it didn't affect me all that much. Why are movies expected to be so politically correct? They are stories, after all. Would it have been better if Jake was a black guy? I doubt casting say Will Smith as Jake would have made a difference. The conservatives would have said now they're trying too hard, or found some other 'flaw'. Hard to please everyone. :)

Sanchit said...

kya bhai... teetotaller bol diya.. apun have been the most regular drunkard in the last 3 years... yeh kaisa sila diya ??? :(

Neha said...

Even though every single person I met has been ranting and raving about this movie, I saw it at home...some utorrent version :(

And I loved it. I am sure all you lucky people who went to the theatres must have adored it! *Jealous*

日月神教-任我行 said...