To say that ‘Avatar’ is the most visually stunning movie of our times would be an understatement. Even those with a Jurassic Park hangover cannot refute that ‘Avatar’ is the groundbreaking 3D release of its time. James Cameron, the man who gave us movies like Terminator, Aliens, Titanic has done it once again. ‘Avatar’ in Hindu mythology means a personification of God in human shape. That’s what the Na’vi are. Gods in human shape; divine creatures that are personifications of mythological Gods.
‘Avatar’ has taken computer generated imagery to the next level. The “Volume” which is an extremely accurate facial capture device and the virtual camera that permits the director to actually see how the CGI characters interact with the CGI environment instantaneously together are responsible for the amazing 3D effect in Avatar. Earlier the director would have to wait for the digital artists to finish the CGI which meant months. With Cameron’s technology the director can see it all at once. Avatar is truly ground breaking in this regard. Effects aside, Avatar is a movie with a global message and that’s what gives it the edge. Cameron said to the UK Sun, “We are destroying species faster than we can classify them. We are destroying the food chain faster than we can understand it.” Avatar addresses very effectively the issue of environmental conflicts.
Jake Sully, a paraplegic, the protagonist of the movie loses his brother and decides to take his place in a mission on the distant world of Pandora. The Pandora is inhabited by the Na’vi, a humanoid race with their own language and culture. The Earthlings find themselves at odds with the local culture. Jake learns that corporate figurehead Parker wants to drive off the native humanoid Na’vi in order to mine for precious material scattered throughout the Pandora’s woodland. In exchange for spinal surgery that will give his legs life, Jake now working for Colonel Qauritch, attempts to infiltrate the Na’vi people with the use of an ‘avatar’ identity. Jake bonds with the native tribe and falls in love with the beautiful Neytiri. The more he learns about their culture the more Jake is torn over what he has agreed to do. The Colonel forces the soldier to take a stand and fight back in an epic battle for the fate of Pandora.
Avatar is not just another movie churned out by James Cameron. This is a movie that he envisaged 15 years ago. Since then he’s been on and off it, waiting for the filming technology to catch up with his vision. The result of his 15-year gestation; a block buster movie which may not have an entirely original story line but makes up for it with amazing breath taking cinematography, out of the world 3-D effects and last but not least an environmental message.