Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Avatar (2009) Movie Review

I have to start off by saying that this movie was out of this world. I knew from the trailer it would have been a good one, but I didn't know how much I would love it. My idea of a good movie is the essence of something that has originality, insatiable acting and a whimsical storyline, something that I couldn't come up with myself. This movie really had me thinking of the possibility of another world like this one. James Cameron; the writer and director of this film found a way to create a mystical plot, beyond anyone's imagination unto the screen for us to enjoy and lament upon. Even the love story is unique and sensational, beyond words.

I immediately did research upon returning from the movies, because I really enjoyed this one. I learned about the techniques used to digitize each actor and actress into their 'Na'vi' form and the exceptionally attractive artwork. I further discovered that the writer behind this movie had it set for release in 1999, but held it off until now because the technology introduced would not be as open to us now. We have seen many movies that presented technology that literally left you flabbergasted at the endeavor to create something beyond belief, but 'Avatar' would take your breath away.

The names and the language within the movie would leave you wondering whether this language was 'the real deal'. I discovered that the language and culture of the 'Na'vi' was developed by Cameron himself. This creativity and professionalism was presented by Cameron in other films, but this one takes the cake.

Set way into the future the plot revolves around the Na'vi and their homeland Pandora. Pandora itself speaks of a box which holds the evils of mankind and once opened, all the evils would be revealed. The choice of Pandora reflects the actual lifestyle of the Na'vi after the humans invaded their homeland.

This type of inner depth which director James Cameron chose to develop was what impressed me most. I appreciated the relationship between Neytiri and Jake Sully. Sully himself was simple minded, but according to director Cameron; Sully would be 'a guy you'd want to have a beer with, and he ultimately becomes a leader who transforms the world'. Very few movies come along like this one often and I was hooked from beginning to end. I remember a particular scene while the humans reigned doom on the Na'vi's and took away their promised tree, I had grown attached to these people so much that their pain was shared and Neytiri's expression and passion for her culture was welcomed with open arms.

The Na'vi are essentially a huge family with deep ties among each other. It was amazing how open they were to teach others their traditions and were willing to merge 'an outsider' into their family. I can't grasp officially how the creation of this culture was done off screen, but I could truly believe and accept the possibility of there being a culture like the Na'vi out; a twelve feet tall race open to culture and nature. Their world actually seemed more functional and less complicated than the actual human lifestyle.

There were a few inconsistencies within the movie, at least there were a few that others pointed out, that I couldn't have really cared less about. Sometimes when you are so in to a movie you begin to lose any curiosity into plot developments and just 'go with the flow'. There were such few, but the ones pointed out detailed the inability of the Na'vi's arrows to penetrate the flying machines in the first war fight and in the fight with Sully as lead, they easily penetrated the windscreens. My theory in defense of them would be the positions they captured in the first fight; it was weak and unplanned and the distance barely gave any harm, especially since they had no clear view of the screens and aimed relentlessly. A second inconsistency pointed out dealt with the humans' inability to breathe without their masks and then we have them breathing without out their masks in the end. My theory to counter that would entail a bit of uncertainty, but on top of that Cameron did list the possibility of sequel movies and maybe all of those would be explained.

If it were me alone none of those mattered at all and the best parts of the movie, which is everything else, made me fall for it deeply beyond words. I would forever cherish one of the best couples created onscreen; Neytiri and Sully. I admired the way Neytiri referred to Sully as 'Her Jake', which reenacted their love for each other and made me ignore the possibility for them to be together given Sully's situation. What impressed me further would have been the scene where Sully began to suffocate for air and Neytiri hurried to save him. Despite the fact that she realized his true form, she still loved him; she didn't mind holding a small man in her arms. To her it wasn't a small man, but 'Her Jake', however mushy that sounded.

However soon the sequels arrive onscreen, I would be one of the many awaiting in hope that they are perceived just as well as the first. I actually began this review a week ago and bit by bit, it came along. I just needed to get the words right, make sure the movie sunk in enough and now I love it even more.



Five Stars

Grade A++


wilted willow. said...

this film is Disney's Atlantis an animated version with a plot so similar it's theft. and Atlantis was done about 8 years earlier. the plot is unoriginal. nothing in Hollywood these days is.

a film such as this should not have spent more time on the science and botany of the fictional world than on the characters who live in them. the graphics i think are its only credit.

Lexa Cliche said...

You seem to be a realist on the topic. Most people I knew just went for the story. I have some friends that take the time to run through each movie with a fine teeth comb, but others couldn't really bother with the other stuff. They just appreciated the meaning the movie bore for audiences. I wonder if Cameron had your theory in mind through his directing or if it was intentional.

The only reason another didn't like this movie was because of the Sully betraying his race topic, but other than that I still commend the graphics and think it was a movie done with someone carrying huge talent.

Thanks for your comment.

Striglit said...

I Have to say I loved this movie. I saw it last saturday and I left the theatre having difficulty finding the words to describe how great this movie is.
Someone told me and I have to agree that the storyline of Avatar is very similar, if not equal, to Pocahontas. That didn't make me like the movie less. Yes the story is not new, but wich story is these days? And the way the movie was made makes that go away.
The things James Cameron created for this movie are just amazing and I almost couldn't believe my eyes. The actors were so good I could feel every emotion they were trying to show. I laughed, cryied and fel the pain the Na'vi felt when their world was being destroyed.
This is, no doubt, the best movie made in 2009.
I usualy prefer real life movies to the ones who have too much special effects, and I think what makes this movie so great is that despite the fact that more than 50% is special effects, you get caught up in the story and almost forget it's not real.
I give it 10 stars and I hope it does well in the oscars.
Joana Trindade

Lexa Cliche said...

I really have to thank you for your comment, because if you really think about it none of that matters. It was a good movie that I am still in awe of.