(English, with Na’vi speak)
It has been snowing today, it has been snowing for three days now, the ground is blanketed in white, the trees stand naked, black lines etched onto a monochrome plane, the world looks different, the world feels different, the world with you in it feels transported, to create such a euphony the forces that have to transpire are many, and immense, to recreate this experience is not an easy task, and this is what most works of art aspire to, to create a convincing alternate reality where you suspend your belief systems, and this is where Cameron’s Avatar succeeds.
To tell a story, you have to create a world.
Avatar dispenses with the narrative and focuses its energies on the world. This is not a movie pacing out the sketching of its characters, this is not a movie trying to make sense of our world or another, if this is what cinema is for you at the foremost, then you should not watch Avatar.
If you have ever dreamt, and having dreamt, you have longed for a world you were in, in that dream; if you have ever read a book and felt melancholic as it drew to a close knowing you were leaving behind places and people, then Avatar will wow you. There is a stupefying attention to detail that I have never seen before on screen. From the time Jake Sully touches the Helicoradian, a part animal part plant organism, and it spirals down similar to a touch-me-not, you know you are in for a memorable ride. It is this world coming alive on the screen that is at the heart of Avatar, it is a world being described but the devastatingly effective use of 3D makes it a journey of discovery, this is a tricky achievement for any movie, or for that matter any narrative, to convince the audience that they are discovering a world, a character, that they are unravelling something by themselves as they are experiencing it.
Avatar is a paradigm shifting cinematic achievement in the total immersive atmosphere and environment that it creates. The use of technology in a movie can leave you with just the wow factor, and this wow factor can fade, and indeed does. Avatar succeeds by using technology mindbogglingly but does not make the technology the raison d’etre.
If one had to insist for a description of the story of Avatar, to do it real justice, it would best be described as a phantasmagoric Dances With Wolves, the key word, the operative word, it’s raison d’etre is phantasmagoria, and how it succeeds, ever so sublimely.