Silent Whispers

Chasing Illusionary Butterflies!

Avatar Phenomenon- Worth the Hype?

Posted by Mrityunjay on February 16, 2010

My guess is, almost all the entertainment magazines, websites and channels would have covered or rather exploited the ‘Avatar’ phenomenon to the hilt. It’s almost two months that the movie was released and the guys from Twentieth Century Fox must have gone laughing all the way to the banks. Even after two months along with all the exposure accorded to it, movie hasn’t stopped raking moolah for its team. Almost everyone with or without the knowledge of the ‘English’ language has seen the movie once and finds it almost bewitching and opulent.

Yes, it is a grand show of visual extravagance that has taken the concept of movie making to a new height altogether. The scale, never before seen graphics, 3D, budget and what not, Avatar has been a true phenomenon. Seems, all the hype concerning the movie was worth the wait. Avatar also marked return of hugely successful ‘James Cameron’ who was missing in Hollywood action after the previous all time grosser ‘Titanic’. In between, he was indulged in making some fascinating documentaries in collaboration with Nasa.

Having said all that, I still find movie nothing more than a visual treat. Though, I may sound stupid and people with better understanding of cinema might scoff at my naivety or so-called cynical attitude, I will prefer to stand by what I just said.

First thing first. James Cameroon was always a hugely successful director who paid his producers astonishing returns. Whether it was True Lies, Terminator or Titanic, all these movies did amazing business on the box office. But, yes there is a great but, He was never really known for making ‘path-breaking cinema’. Agreed, he had a niche segment and he is a master of making potboilers or should we say, ‘Popcorn flicks’, but that’s that. Tell me what other values his movies offered except excessive use of new technologies or for that matter, grand scales? He is master of epic movies but beyond that I will have to really scratch my head.

Avatar was a classic example of effective use of promotional strategies. Everything about it was so well documented, hyped and there was a shroud of mystery covering its making. Movie was promoted and hyped in such a way that, if you ask a cine-goer, did you watch ‘Avatar’ and if he hasn’t seen it yet, he would be almost embarrassed to confess it. Mass-marketing at its very best. It was a brutal but suave attack on human psychology. I have seen people telling me about watching ‘Avatar’ as if they belong to the first generation of movie lovers who are updated with latest of Hollywood.

Check the story line of the movie; boy meets girl, they fall in love and in comes haters of love and peace and ultimately after finishing up all the goons, they both live happily after. Innovative? Striking? Got a ketch up sauce of Brave heart, Pocahontas and Space marines. Any resonance of 999th time’s repetition of ecological balance, some Voo-doo kind of bizarre spirituality and importance of peace and love in the times of conflict?

Remember Titanic? A poor boy meets a rich girl and expectedly cupid strikes. Enters the evil fiancée and family members and boy finally had to sacrifice his life in order to save the girl. Impressed again? Nothing original in terms of story or the end of it. However, what was different was the ‘Ship’. I don’t remember seeing such a giant ship and the sadistically fascinating sinking of it. It was just Wow!

Honestly, I don’t think I am being a cynic here but all I am trying to say is, it wasn’t as great as it is made out to be. ‘Avatar’ must win all the awards in graphics/technology division but for God sake don’t insult Hurt Locker by awarding ‘Avatar’ the best movie and best director award. However, if entertainment is only criteria then it should win hands down else, so many nominations are just sufficient enough.

To end with, ‘Avatar’ might kick start a new chapter in movie-making. 3D was never used with such wonderful effect. I also loved the use of truly photo-real CG that was always promised by Hollywood but delivered only in Avatar. All in all, if you can leave your logics behind then take a bucket of popcorns and enjoy the grandest spectacle ever seen on 70mm.

P.S- By the way, I loved Pandora and Na’vi. I wish I could reside there, walk on those floating mountains and ride one of those seductive Inkaras! 😛


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3 Responses to “Avatar Phenomenon- Worth the Hype?”

  1. Pankti said

    Hi, quite an interesting read I must say
    However, Avatar, having done a business of approx $ 630 millions , to me surely narrates more than boy meets girl, they fall in love kind of story. I feel the main reason for Avatar being such a super hit film across continents is that it plays on the human mind and reconnects in to where mankind comes from – nature. It was brilliant to see the contrast between humans living in nature and human on other side surrounded by technology , so far away from nature…
    Avatar was more than a visual delight for me…

  2. Vikalp said

    The article is good and balanced but there are two points i dont agree with-
    1. I didn’t like the main story either but there are many hidden sub-contents revolving around main story which relate to most of us.
    It has truly hollywood style of entertainment grand and full of action which American/ europeans love, it has Pandora, its nature and pagan Na’vi much like african tribes (only 9ft tall) and it also has colonised past and corporatised future of slavery, much to the interest of Asia.
    There is loss of life of loved ones, there is anger, there is challenge, there is greed, there is friendship, there is adventure, power of conviction is there and there is LOVE. its quite a story, don’t you think.

    2. James Cameroon is not an ordinary man. His work is not to write stories but to direct a whole show. And he can excel in writing as well, just as he did with Terminator 1 & 2.
    Its good that Cameroon knows his core competency and he sticks to it. Also, its good to know the responsibilities you r carrying in ur shoulders like recovering the budget and making max profits (u have to make ur producers happy), satisfying ones need for creativity and making something new that has never be seen and entertaining the world.
    I think Camaroon has been amazingly successful in fulfilling all these expectations. and there is nothing wrong knowing your forte and polishing your sword for a better kill next time.

    Only thing which i couldn’t digest in the movie was that the whole planet with its all forms of life, was connected to one spiritual tree and all of them had a USB like tail to connect with each other. but again it is a fiction movie and now when i see deeply it also has a message for us, the earthlings, to see what connects us all, what is that which is within everyone of us, which makes us special and which unites us to face the challenge. (well, i am still struggling to find the answer) 😀

  3. Ajinkya said

    yes awsome movie. its a life time Movie.. MUST WATCH. specially for Nature lovers with a GREEN MESSAGE 🙂

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