Three years ago I got whiff of a new movie about to grace our screens. The story was set in a fantasy world on a planet far away. Always a sucker for fantasy movies I got excited but soon forgot all about James Cameron’s latest project. Until a few months ago, when the first theatrical trailer was released. Catching a glimpse of Pandora and it’s blue skinned inhabitants I nearly wet myself with excitement. Ever since that moment I had been waiting for the day it was to hit the big screen.
Last night I finally saw Avatar – sadly not at an IMAX screen like I had wanted but still on a big enough screen to make it justice. And of course; in 3D.
The film opens with Jake Sully, (Sam Worthington) a wheelchair bound soldier, waking up from a six year long sleep. He is about to ‘inhabit’ his late brothers ‘avatar’ – a sort of hybrid body of the indigenous Na’vi tribe of Pandora. This distant planet houses thousands of tribes of these humanoid creatures that live in peace and have a very strong spiritual bond to the nature that surrounds them – until mankind, led by Parker Selfridge (Giviani Ribisi) arrives to mine for precious metals buried underneath Na’vis dwelling.
Under Professor Grace Augustine’s (Sigourney Weaver) guidance Jake as his ‘avatar’ begins to learn about the people of Pandora and their way of life. His initial goal is to infiltrate the Na’vi, become a trusted member of the tribe and then negotiate for them to relocate so that humans can access their precious mines. As ‘princess’ Neytiri (Zoe Seldana) teaches Jake everything there is to know about their way of life Jake inevitably falls in love with her as well as the Na’vis beliefs.
As time runs out the humans move in to bulldoze their habitat and Jake is faced with a difficult choice – follow the orders of his human commander (Stephen Lang) or help the tribe he has come to call his own.
This movie is a cinematic masterpiece. I cannot fault a single second of it and in all honesty I cannot wait to see it again. As with all movies you always miss great details the first time round and I believe this magnificent piece of art deserves not just a second but a third and a fourth viewing – if you can sit through an epic such as this that many times. Majority of the film is set in a CG animated world although it is hard to tell as every aspect and attention to detail is so microscopically perfect it’s on the verge of sickening.
Considering the movie has been in the making since 1995, James Cameron decided to stall the scrip until technology has caught up in order to correctly portray his vision. I am glad he did as the result is magnificent. The film touches on a lot of current issues and affairs and you can easily see similarities to Columbus discovering the Americas, colonies settling in Africa, the George W. Bush administration and also subtle references to the 9/11 attack. In a way it’s also an eye opener to how the human race is used to devour anything in it’s path – regardless of the outcome and consequence.
I am thrilled to say that there are two sequels planned for the future. Cameron jokes that if they see the day of light depends on the profit Avatar makes. Judging by all the sold out dates til January I am certain production has already started. At least I hope and pray that they have..