Every tweet or Facebook status message I read about Avatar said something positive about it, so let me bevel the playing field a little by giving my one good and one bad cent about it.
To begin with, I must say that the movie is probably one of the best experiences I've had. Right up there with the reverse bungee this time last year in Singapore. I felt like I was transported to a different planet. I could not only see the flora, fauna and people there, but I could almost touch and smell the place. I was there when Jake Sully chased Neytiri playfully on the branch of the largest tree I have ever seen. I saw her expressions as she moved from coy to angry to forgiving. Not for a moment did any part of the planet, or for that matter, the human weapons, planes and devices look fake. I even believed that the mountains that floated in the sky were real. All in all, the visuals were stunning; bringing to life a fantastic alien world which somehow I could understand, because of its many underlying similarities with Earth. Speaking of Earth, there was also a reference to the whole global warming issue with lines like 'These people have destroyed their world and now they've come to destroy ours' splashed around for good measure.
And that brings us, ever so gently, to the downside. While the experience was amazing, the visuals breathtaking and the 3D excellent, as a movie (as defined in the traditional sense) 'Avatar' was simply ok. Not exceptional, mind blowing, unparalleled or any of those overblown adjectives that have been used in reference to it. The plot was what you could guess from the trailer, the characters were a little too black and white (many of them were blue, but you know what I mean) and there were not too many killer dialogues that resonated with me. Some things were downright silly, like the name of an unobtainable, expensive mineral which was called, hold your breath, 'Unobtanium'. The bad guys were really bad, the good guy was a super stud and there were small optical fiber like endings in the natives' hair that connected with everything from horses to birds to trees. There was also much synchronised chanting around a huge tree by the native populace which reminded me of many Hindi movie dance sequences.
So there you have it; I hope all this dissing corrects your expectations a little in case you're planning to see the film. Make no mistake, it's truly unmissable despite all its flaws; movies like this don't come along too often. Definitely worth a watch - if only to get a cheap ticket to visit a fantastic new planet. Here's wishing you a happy journey!
Overall rating: 8 / 10