avatar

I went to see Avatar on IMAX 3D, it was awesome. The special effects were seamless, Pandora was so stunningly beautiful it’s difficult to describe. It’s as of today the second highest grossing movie behind Titanic, and it’s for sure that it will be the highest soon.

Of course, there’s a lot of media hype and every one and their uncle seems to have a different spin on it. Right wingers are up in arms because it cuts too close to the truth about corporate interests, indiscriminate use of force and disregard for other cultures. Others have picked up on its racist undertones. It’s even said to have caused depression.

Yes, the story is clichéd and the underlying warning message delivered to us by a giant hammer unlike, well, what District 9 managed to do. But D9 was made by a South African, and Avatar is so utterly American. I can’t help but think that giant unsubtle hammer is the only way of delivering these political messages nowadays, and all power to James Cameron to do that, and entertain us in the process.

But anyway, back to the film. There is nothing to fault. There are so many colours and light and surprises on Pandora. My first impression was that it’s like a combination of Endor and Laputa, but it’s much much more. So much care has been put to create landscape, plants and creatures in such detail it is hard to believe it’s all in our imagination. The theme of nature-energy-force-we-are-all-connected-to-mother-earth theme is nothing new (I half expected someone to say ‘midi-chlorians’), and yes I cringed when they started doing voodoo-like chants, but at the end it’s all so, so good. I want to run and jump and fly and shout like a hunter-warrior. I want to sleep in those pod-hammocks. I want to ride the Toruk. I want to touch Eywa herself. For such an unsubtle film, there is an unexpected depth. I’m still thinking about it, and mulling over my experience. I won’t forget this film in a long time.