For all the hype-hoopla, all the build-up of expectations and all the talk of it being the "biggest movie ever", Avatar barely manages to be not-so-disappointing. As for the reviews which have been literally worshiping the movie, all I have to say is - if $300 million were spent on the making of the movie, another few millions on PR would have seemed like a good deal to the producers ;)
Coming down to brass tacks - Avatar is a pretty movie without a storyline of any kind. It makes you wonder if James Cameron just woke up after 14 years of creating eye-candy in 3D to realize that he totally forgot to script anything ! And then he opened up the newspapers, read something about Copenhagen in the headlines and decided to fit in all the 3D glitterati in an extremely preachy man-abuses-nature-and-nature-fights-back theme.
The result is before our eyes - an extremely slow and dragging first half of the movie where the director's sole aim seems to be to establish some sort of a flimsy premise for the ensuing war post-interval. The saving grace is that he manages to do the latter pretty well. The world of Pandora, though appearing to be lit up with Chinese lights sold during Diwali and Xmas, is breathtaking at times. The war sequences almost come alive, especially in 3D, what with the fleet of iron-men being squished to pulp by rhino-like gigantic creatures,and the herd of flying pterodactyl-like creatures making a grand entry at the call of Eywa (the Nature God, apparently the tree lit up with Chinese lights) !
I'll give credit where it's due.. Avatar deserves a 4/5 for the special effects. It deserves a 1/5 when it comes to the storyline though. The winner, in my overall experience, was the 3D screen at iMax, Mumbai. Undoubtedly, the best move watching experience you can get in India.
And finally a word about those sacrilegious comparisons between Avatar and Lord of The Rings trilogy. Don't ! Perish the thought ! Lord of the Rings was a movie that created on-screen magic not solely because of its visual splendor. Along with some of the most vivid visual recreations of Tolkien's Middle Earth, that movie had a storyline and a soul which is not easily achieved by all filmmakers..
Till next time..