Posted: January 7, 2010 in Art

Avatar (3D): Since it was not playing in our immediate vicinity, had to pull a few strings to get to the theatre where we could see the movie in all its 3-D brilliance (as the promos promised us).

But was it worth it? Like all other things in life, I had to take the plunge to find out. And I should have known better. Yes, it is a beautiful (cliched) story told in spectacular style by James Cameron (who can forget Titanic) – with an outerspace setting to complete the effect.

Avatar is a story of a man seeking redemption from his shackles (a paraplegic ex-marine caught in a coldly material world, anxious to get back to his old life of action and drama) finding higher purpose and meaning in life. The mission thrust upon him makes that possible – with a woman thrown in to make that happen. The story setting could have been a remote village somewhere in India or Africa – afterall the Pandoran culture, norms and beleifs seems to have been drawn from these places anyway.

But then – how else would Cameron weave-in the stunning visuals of flourescent life forms (remember The Abyss?), eye-catching alien body forms and the audience mental frame of a battle between humans and humanoids? Not to mention the Special Effects Category nomination for the Academy Awards (brain-dead panel with highly debatable judging standards with Slumdog Millionaire as most recent example). And do not forget the revenues from the videogames that are already flooding the market.

Overall, a well-told story made with an epic budget and excellent hype. That is all there to it.

Turning homewards, just when I had given up hope on Indian cinema (I mean bollywood – for lack of time to watch Tamil films), came these two bolts from the blue.

Rocket Singh – Salesman of the Year: One sentence – loved this movie! Ranbir is not a favorite. I have nothing against the guy – except that he has everything handed to him on the plate while others have to sweat it out for years for the same opportunities. Hated him even for after watching Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani (won’t even bother to write about it). But he seems to be doing his bit of justice to the silver spoon he was born with. The guy does have talent – unlike Abhishek Bacchan – but I dither.

Maybe I had set my expectations too low from a Yash-Raj film (of late, candy-floss coated urine-love stories) but this movie did it for me. It was funny, and had deep thoughts thrown at you like a punch. An enduring message of beleiving in yourself no matter where you start from and despite what others want you to beleive about yourself. And the message comes out beautifully – some people will want to see you fail, simply because they were too cowardly to follow their heart and try something out for themselves. But irrespective of your success or failure, no one can take the learning away from you, and how you use that learning to re-build the blocks is what makes you exceptional. A must watch movie.

3 Idiots: Yeah, its a big hit. And yes, the money is only getting bigger with that whiney loser Chetan Bhagat crying foul and the publicity-nosed Aamir using it to generate even more box-office sales. But then, its a helluva good movie despite Aamir, Maddy and Sharman playing 20-year olds, its surrogate Aamir-worshipping (Rancho the superguy who can fix anything from the lab to the labor room with his 24-year old ingenious brain, and pass witty one-liners to floor his professors and friends), Kareena’s totally unrequired appearance and “Aal-is-well” feel-good which is so Munnabhai MBBS. Again, like Rocket Singh..the movie hit the nail on its head with its message – Run behind excellence – success will follow. One more must watch.

So so eagerly await Alice In Wonderland and Sherlock Holmes. The movie-makers have decided to turn a kindly ear to my longing to see my favorite characters on-screen (not to mention my pockets that they want to empty hehhe..)


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