Monday, December 21, 2009

Avatar - James Cameron

The movie opened on Thursday the 18th of December in Greece. My friends and I wanted to see this movie, and we managed with some difficulty to get tickets for the early evening screening last night. After watching the movie, I can fully understand why this movie is a hit and why it was so fully booked. In fact I would like to go and see it again.

Let:s just take things from the beginning, and start from the script of the movie. A solid scenario, it has no contradictions, no corny love story! After the disaster of New Moon, I did not even want to go near a love story.

I liked the script, it is well structured and well written. The story keeps the viewer interested throughout the movie, and does not have any bad moments.

The story itself sounds simple, but there is more to explore... Jake Sully [Sam Worthington] is a veteran marine, crippled in some war on Earth. He is sent as a replacement to his twin brother on Pandora, an Earth like moon of a gas giant, named Polyphemus, orbiting one of the stars in A Centauri. Pandora is inhabited by a race of humanoid aliens named the Na'vi, which are bigger, stronger and more resilient than humans. In order to communicate with the Na'vi, humans have grown avatars, human-Na'vi hybrids called avatars. Each hybrid is genetically compatible with just one human host, the host whose DNA was used for the hybrid. What do humans want on Pandora? They want unobtainium, a mysterious element which is very very rare and very very expensive on Earth, but is abundant on Pandora. So, the science team led by Dr. Grace Augustin [Sigourney Weaver] has the task to learn about the natives and try to get them to cooperate. But things are not what they seem to be, neither with the Na'vi nor with the human-avatar connection.

I am not going to say any more of the story of the movie, go and watch it. Just one last thing. Humans have destroyed the Earth, and they are seeking now, because of greed, to do the same on other worlds.
One word on the love story of the movie, which is well tied with the script, with no corny lines, or anything that might look out of place with the rest of the script. This is solid story-telling from the beginning til the end of the movie.

As far as acting goes, I would definitely say the best acting in the movie is done by Sigourney Weaver. I loved her character, and the way Sigourney portrays Dr. Grace Augustin, and how the scientist and humanist side of the character are shown throughout the movie.

A second best, in my opinion, has to be Zoe Saldana, as Neytiri, the Na'vi woman that rescues and teaches Jake the way of the Na'vi.

Sam Worthington as Jake Sully is quite good throughout the movie with a few excellent acting moments. I especially loved the beginning when he records how he got to Pandora, his voice being that of a sad man, who has almost given up, and how this changes throughout the movie. Another excellent moment is before the big battle, when Jake speaks to the tribe of the Na'vi, as Torouk Makto, and the last moment I have picked is at the end, when Jake speaks about his birthday.
I also love the soundtrack of the movie. It is well suited to the film, made for the film, and part of the film. However, I was able to listen to it during the movie, without being distracted by it. Part of this movie's magic, and one OST I will definitely be buying, probably online.

The best part of the movie is its stunning visuals. You could say the visual effects, but there is something more here. I fell in love with Pandora, with the Na'vi people, with the trees and the Ikran, with the Tree of Life... One of the moments I was stunned by the beauty of it all, was when I saw the night of Pandora, with the bioluminescent life forms.

All these images, from the beautiful nights to the hovering mountains of Pandora, have been burned into my memory; and Jake Sully, our protagonist, will have to see and not just with his eyes, but with his heart and he will have to use his avatar body to the fullest, to survive, to love and, ultimately, to save the Na'vi people.

This is one movie that I really enjoyed, I rode with Jake and Neytiri on the Ikran, I cried with the Na'vi, I fought with the Na'vi, I fully immersed myself in the world of Pandora.

I see you