The International Writers Magazine: Review
Avatar - Written and Directed by James Cameron
Starring Sam Worthington, Signorney Weaver
Like many I suspect, afer been hit on the head by trailer after trailer for Avatar over the last few months, in the end I was extremely reluctant to go to see it. After all they show so much of the film, one feels one has already seen it and you certainly know the plot. Evil corporations raping precious rare commodities from small primitive indigenous peoples with aid of vicious US military. And yes that as it turned out that is the whole plot.
What made it powerful cinema however was the extraordinary lengths Cameron went to establish characters and setting. It became a real emotional 'extra-human' drama and the relationship that developed with the grunt marine played by Sam Worthington's Avatar and the beautiful Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) is pretty unique. It took a leisurely pace to introduce us to them, the wonderful creatures on the planet, the fantastic fauna and flora. As he learned basic skills, culminating in learning to fly dragons, it was a triumph of special effects and filmmaking.
The other plot of evil Corporations raping the planet despite the best advice of scientists was nothing new of course, but it served to contrast well with the beauty of the planet and made its destruction all the more poignant. Sigorney Weaver leads the science time who have developed the Avatar program to infiltrate the local natives. It's a given considering the way of life on the planet the avatar's would go native and learn to appreciate their oneness with the natives. The tree of life where the natives live is a thing of beauty - their appreciation of all living things a lesson to us all.
I saw this in 3-D and yes it is pretty to see the dancing flowers floating across the screen but I still find wearing the ill fitting glasses a distraction half the time and feel that you could watch this in 2D and still gain maximum enjoyment.
The celebration of life is wonderful here. History tells us that from the Spanish Conquest of the America onwards we will always choose violence over beauty and things we cannot understand and Cameron reminds us that there is another way.
Avatar is a fantastic spectacle, a thrill and the technology it took to make it never gets in the way of a good story told extremely well.
Go and see for yourself.
© Sam North author of 'The Curse of the Nibelung - A Sherlcok Holmes Mystery'