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Avatar Review

By: By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee
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It has taken more than 15 years for James Cameron to come out with eco-minded epic Avatar costing in excess of $300 million. Coming from the stable of Cameron who has directed Terminator, Aliens, True Lies and and Titanic, Avatar has been one of the most anticipated movies of the decade and Cameron who had doubled up as the writer hasn't disappointed the audience. Cameron had made sure that Avatar is nothing like what the audience has seen before.

Avatar is full of inspiration and has references to Westerners and borrows from movies like The Vanishing America. It also draws inspiration from America's defeat in the Vietnam war. Avatar is intriguing for echoing other Cameron films" mistrust of corporate greed like in Terminator and Aliens. But at the core, it is still a touching love story. The love between Jake and Neytiri (Zoe SaldaÑa) is heart-wrenching. This romantic tale shows that there is still hope in the universe.

It is 2154 AD and Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) is a former U.S. Marine, who is wounded and paralyzed from the waist down in combat on Earth. Jake is selected to participate in the Avatar program, which will enable him to walk. Jake travels to Pandora which is a lush and sentient-inhabited jungle-covered satellite of Polyphemus, one of three gas giants that orbit Alpha Centauri 4.3 light years from Earth. This world is also home to the Na"vi, a sentient humanoid race, who are considered primitive, yet are more physically capable than humans.

Standing 10 feet tall, with tails and sparkling blue skin, the Na"vi live in harmony with their unspoiled world. As humans encroach deeper into Pandora's forests in search of valuable minerals, the Na"vi unleash their formidable warrior abilities to defend their threatened existence. Jake has unwittingly been recruited to become part of this encroachment. Since humans are unable to breathe the air on Pandora, they have created genetically-bred human-Na"vi hybrids known as Avatars.

On Pandora, through his Avatar body, Jake will be able to walk again. Sent deep into Pandora's jungles as a scout for the soldiers that will follow, Jake encounters many of Pandora's beauties and dangers. There he meets a young Na"vi female, Neytiri (Zoe SaldaÑa). Over time, Jake integrates himself into the Na'vi clan, and begins to fall in love with Neytiri. As a result, Jake finds himself caught between the military-industrial forces of Earth and the Na"vi, forcing him to choose sides in an epic battle that will decide the fate of Pandora.

Cameron once again proves that he is master of science-fiction along Spielberg. Although many criticised the huge hype around Avatar, the film"s heart is firmly in the right place and the performances are committed. Avatar's visuals like any Cameron movie are breath-taking. Sam Worthington and Zoe SaldaÑa have lived up to the role of such anticipated movie. Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez and Stephen Lang provide good supporting performance. The movie definitely takes imagination to an unimaginable limit.

The first half of the movie is a happy scenario which is shown with vibrant colours. But something goes wrong in the second half when the narrative become heavy, and the story line does not move ahead so well. The script at times isn't able to hold with direction that Cameron has provided. But in the end, it surpasses all categories and morphs into something truly spectacular. Avatar is a brilliant movie and if you see it your 160-odd minutes won't be wasted. It is a great experience, not to be missed under any conditions. It is highly advisable to watch it only in 3-D.

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