Hollywood hues
Technological marvel

Imaginatively conceived and brilliantly executed, James Cameronís Avatar boggles
the mind with its amazing virtuosity, writes Ervell E. Menezes

Outstanding, phenomenal and fantastic are some of the words one can use to describe James Cameronís Avatar. It took him 12 years (after Titanic) and many dreams to create this technological marvel but the long wait was definitely worth it.

In the intervening years, Cameron kept himself occupied with underwater explorations and lending his name to several movie productions while nurturing this baby to completion ó imaginatively conceived and brilliantly executed.

The story is basically the reverse of aliens invading the earth. Avatar, set in 2154, has earthlings as aliens invading the lush, beautiful and serene Pandora, a planet several light years away from earth, hoping to mine it for its rich deposits of unobatium, a much-sought-after energy source mineral that sells at several thousand dollars per kilo on earth.

Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), a paralysed Marine veteran confined to a wheelchair, is roped in for the project after his scientist brother is killed. To add teeth to the story, thereís a scientist Dr Grace (Sigourney Weaver ó an Aliens regular) is researching the planet and its species and the usual warriors led by Col. Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang), who are planning an all-out massacre of the earthlings while Parker Selfridge (Giovanni Ribbisi) exerts a sort of restraining influence. Events are further complicated by a relationship between a fierce Naívi (inhabitants of Pandora) beauty Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) and the handicapped Jake Sully.

The movie takes off with glimpses of inter-galactic spaceships, weightless crew members and avatars floating in liquid-filled cylinders. The story has shades of Mel Gibsonís Apocalypto, copious doses of philosophy, spiritualism and psychic mumbo-jumbo thrown in for added measure but these elements are relegated to the backburner as the narrative is fuelled into a brilliant fire and some astounding visuals of breathtaking splendour. The backdrop, too, is very succinctly woven in.

The Naívi speak, the flora and fauna and the history of the race are remarkably ensconced in the narrative and not for a moment does one doubt the veracity of this uniquely created world.

Even James Hornerís background score and Leona Lewisí I See You lends romance to the visual grandeur. Then the technological transitions are seamlessly incorporated ó live action, CGI backdrops and post-production effects conjure up an imagery that makes every frame look even more beautiful and exciting as the previous one. The 3-D imagery has incredible depth rendering close-in experiences as never before seen on celluloid.

Avatar is by far the most expensive, technically ambitious, superbly crafted film ever made. It boggles the mind with its amazing virtuosity and is a fine blend of form and content. Kudos to Cameron.