Sunday, January 24, 2010

Avatar: The Perfect Step into the Future

James Cameron is known in the filming industry for his work on Titanic, The Terminator series, and of course Avatar. The last one is his latest production which took over five years to make. Not film, but make. This is due to the fact that it is about 60% CGI and 40% acting. There have been numerous attempts throughout cinematic history to effectively incorporate visual effects in every scene in a movie. Avatar takes that to a whole new level with the scenes themselves being entirely computer generated to unbelievable photorealistic effects. The plot itself is creative although it takes several themes and ideas from other movies and literary works but manages to cover them in an imaginative and innovative way. With that said, will the reader enjoy it? Let’s see.
The story takes place on a far moon in a distant space sector where an Earth corporation has a major operation to harvest vital material for building machines and the industry as a whole. This however, comes in conflict with the natives which are much more primitive than humans but much more in tune with their planet. The main character is entrusted with the task to get closer to the natives with the help of an “Avatar” – a hybrid of human DNA and the natives controlled by the protagonist with his mind. The planet itself is full of dangerous animals and plants which seem to want to do nothing else but eat people. The effects are stunning and the viewer has the feeling he or she is transported to the very planet of the action. The protagonist eventually discovers it would be wrong to destroy the natural habitat of the indigenous people for resources.
The film also places certain ethical points for consideration. What do we truly call home? Do we hurt others to make profit if we would not be punished? How far does the human conscience spread? The movie does not give the answers but leaves the viewer to find them out on his or her own. However, there are some negative sides as well. Many of the characters seem shallow and unwilling to change even in the slightest. Some seem more ruthless then they should and others too forgiving. There are a few plot points that take away from the realism but then again, a movie cannot be without them. In general Avatar is a great movie in terms of motifs, themes, and social and ethical problems as well as entertaining for those who want to enjoy a picture without having to worry about complex problems.