Avatar: The Way of Water
Nobody understands water like James Cameron does. What was a mammoth achievement in the form of Titanic over 25 years ago, we are back to being immersed in water both figuratively and literally. The mastermind visionary that this man is, he makes sure that the long and tiring wait to see the most-talked about gargantuan sequel is worth very bit of it. Having had the privilege to see Avatar: The Way of Water beforehand in its most beautiful form, here is what I thought of it-
Pandora to Metkayina - Now Different
The endgame of Avatar was how Jake fully transformed into his avatar to be with Neytiri and now, in this sequel, things are entirely different. The couple now has four kids and everything related to them is as human as things can get. The kids have different traits to themselves and just like the great Vin Diesel reiterates in the Fast and Furious series, 'it is all about family'. Now that I think about it, Jake can qualify as the avatar version of Dominic Toretto to a large extent. This time, as the Sully family enjoys their life in Pandora, a new threat is looking once again from as usual, 'sky people', espeically the resurrected version of Colonel Miles Quaritch.
The world in Pandora is a whole lot different where they are at loggerheads almost constantly in a bid to save themselves, majorly because of the conflict between Jake and Quaritch. But as Pandora explores and presents itself, the majestic nature lies in the way of water, which is the Metkayina, another oceanic clan that is located on Pandora's reefs. And thus begins a splendid joruney of one moment of brilliance after another.
The Audacity of Splendor
Oh boy! It is such a perplexing feeling watching all the underwater sequences in this film. On one hand, you cannot help but constantly arrested in the majestic nature of every sequence and the visual treat of every frame; while on the other hand, you keep marvelling at the audacity and conviction that Cameron had in executing them. There is a sense of 'this is impossible' to every other scene in the best way on wondering just how on earth was it shot! The attention to detail when it comes to every texture of the avatars, the creatures, the tulkuns and even the clothing is so precise you cannot fault it. It is a world of splendor, opulence and just sheer bliss.
Servicable Cliches But an Immersive Experience
It cannot be denied that at its core, the story is full of serviceable cliches right from protecting your own family to an predictable climax and so on. But none of this bothers in any way. The transporation to this world is done so brilliantly that you cannot help but buy into everything that is being presented to you in the story. When the kids are doing their shenanigans, you feel them; when Jake and Neytiri struggle to come with a plan for their family, you feel them; and mostly when every avatar emotes any human emotion that is relatable, you feel them. The addition of the only 'human' factor in the form of Spider Socorro as Jake and Neytiri's adopted human son was a great addition and provides a wonderful arc in overall storyline. It might also be true that because Avatar: The Way of Water barely any human faces as opposed to the originl Avatar, you might seem it to be convenient and cliched but that is just one perspective, and for me, it did not affect the magnificence of what I was watching.
The Evolution of Technology
Not only has Avatar's sequel been 13 years in the making but it basically led to the fact that we are literally witnessing a 360 degree shift in technology that has happened over the decade. For its time, Avatar was already a pathbreaker in its execution and vision but now that technology has gotten better, bigger and more accesible - the idea was to make the absolute use of it in every way possible. Cameron conceives the world of Pandora as a playground to maximise the use of evolving technology and how it works in ways not many can fathom. The result turns out to be an achievement for this current era as well. One mght feel that the spectacle is used to cover up the story's loophoes but that doesn't really become a factor where every feeling the avatars emote are anthropocentric in nature and hence, relatable.
Any language might fall short of adjectives to describe what Avatar: The Way of Water gives you as an experience. The transportation ride to Pandora and then Metkayina is 3 hours 12 minutes long but the length does not bother. The ride is majestic, splendid, immersive and unlike anything you have ever seen before on the big screen. The only way you can feel anything I did is be choosing to go to the biggest screen possible with the best sound possible. Go on and be transfixed into this world to make your theatrical experience the best there can be.
Rating - ***** (5/5)