Star Cast: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Jack Champion & ensemble.
Director: James Cameron
What’s Good: Cameron is not hell-bent on revamping the world entirely just because he has more money and means, but he is dedicated to telling you the story of the characters he has developed so well.
What’s Bad: He goes into a zone where it almost feels like you are in a pram and James has the handle to navigate you through this world. It is also good but a lot over simplifying in parts.
Loo Break: A filmmaker is back with his crown jewel after over a decade. Even in dull moments, you have no right to even shift your focus.
Watch or Not?: You either watch or watch, simple!
Language: English (with subtitles)
Available On: In Theatres Near You!
Runtime: 192.10 Minutes.
Jake Sully is no more a human driving an Avatar, but very much a Na’vi (people of Pandora). He is not just the Olo’yekton but also the Toruk Makto and has the responsibility to guide the entire community that lives in the forest and worships. The sky people comeback one day and it is the old enemy packaged in a new personality and Jake has to defeat him and save his family. Yes, he is a father to four children now, five actually, you will know.
Avatar: The Way of Water Movie Review: Script Analysis
The year was 2009, and the guy reviewing The Way Of Water was 13, he entered a hall full of clueless people like him and the colourful world hypnotised him to the extent that he bought a DVD to watch it again breaking his piggy bank. For a whole lot like me, Avatar has defined cinema and the best of it for a phase. It not only broke the mold of the template of big tent-pole movies but, changed the course of how VFX and CGI were perceived. So when James Cameron decides to revisit Pandora, it does not just mean a movie at this point, but the return of a movement that defined many things good.
Somebody on Earth with a lab that scales the level of human imagination please carry out every possible test on James and his team to understand at what level these masters imagine and how far it goes. Avatar: The Way Of Water is, of course, an in-depth exploration of Jake Sully’s life in Pandora and how the planet continues to exist. But Cameron induces art of the absurd in every frame. While doing so he also makes sure there is a line drawn on how much is too much. The filmmaker with his team of writers including Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Josh Friedman, and Shane Salerno does a smart job of growing his story horizontally opposed to vertically progress.
Let me explain, Avatar: The Way Of Water isn’t overtly beautified or scaled up in a way that the entire world looks different. It is very much true and closest to its predecessor and doesn’t try to overpower grandeur in any way. Rather it skilfully spreads the canvas in width. The same old characters are taking the centre stage with the newly developed well enough to now have their own tangents in this world.
At the core of it, Cameron creates a story of bonding, family, and the values of standing for each other in testing times. Think of it as an alien movie directed by an English-speaking Sooraj Barjtya, in a good way. At the heart of it, The Way Of Water is about a man who is still an outsider at heart, so he has to put in that extra effort to always prove his loyalty even when he stands on the highest of the dais. So he expects his kids to follow the same. He expects them to have values, save their family and also grow into the best Na’vi’s. He is disappointed with one and proud of another creating a rift between the children. A classic Bollywood template, but we shouldn’t complaint because there is no crime involved.
Amid all of this, the filmmaker highlights human greed, the urgency to find a substitute for Earth, and what if we are doing that at the cost of an entire population.
You cannot not talk about how beautifully a culture the movie has designed and blown life into it. But above all is the imagination. It is not an easy task to design a movie where every element including that one strand of grass is supposed to be different and also give it value so the audience connects to it. Do I need to emphasise how well the characters are edged out and placed?
The thing where The Way Of Water will be bothering for some will be the part where the family migrates to a new community (told you the canvas grows). Cameron takes his own time to show you the ways of this new land and how the Sullies have to now unlearn everything and learn the new way. While cinematically one can understand Cameron is marinating his audience in this new setup, for some it might be spoon-feeding or oversimplifying. Also, the drama does enter the melodramatic grounds more than once and the shift isn’t organic enough.
In some places, the film also relies a lot on the predecessor and sometimes becomes an almost rehash making you think removing the said part might have made the over 3-hour ride crisper.
Avatar: The Way of Water Movie Review: Star Performance
Everyone that works on an Avatar movies and especially the actors who play the Na’vi’s deserves every possible credit. If you don’t understand, go on YouTube and check the making of the first part, it is a showcase of sheer acting talent and calibre. Sam Worthington no longer has a human body to time and again shine as his real self, he is entirely a Na’vi and he doesn’t disappoint. Even with the VFX, you feel his pain.
I worship Zoe Saldana for what she does with Neytiri. Remember her breakdown sequence in part one when she realised Jake was an ally of the sky people all this while? There are more such this time and the actor proves why she deserves to be where she is every single time.
Stephen Lang is now a baddie you love to hate and hate to love. While he does stand true to what is expected, I wish the part around his son and his fatherly instincts wasn’t rushed.
Everyone else does an amazing job and makes the movie the spectacle it is. Wish Kiri’s angle was explored more though. She talks to the Ocean and the world underneath even gets controlled by her. But too much of it is kept suspense. Even the cliffhangers need to have an edgy cliff. This doesn’t.
Avatar: The Way of Water Movie Review: Direction, Music
James Cameron while having the most cinematic of the minds in world Cinema, understands emotions and how to use them. If the man has made us root for a fictional race of aliens and reciprocates to their pain, he has managed to be successful. His vision is lightyears ahead and if there is a Pandora, take me there, you guys. Through his vison, Cameron even builds a more nuanced and two sided man animal relationship this time. It’s Toofan and his horse nostalgia for us Indians, but it all does work, because you tend to celebrate when that writing translates to the screen with a massive scale a visual treat.
Sit through the part the story shifts to the waters and see how the man imagines the world underwater. The music is just perfect and examining the technicalities of the visual department is way beyond the expertise of more than half of population of this planet.
Avatar: The Way of Water Movie Review: The Last Word
Avatar: The Way Of Water is a very personal movie that doesn’t try to please the audience but be content with itself. James Cameron wants his emotions to be the core even if it looks dramatic and unapologetic filmmakers are all we need.
Avatar: The Way of Water Trailer
Avatar: The Way of Water releases on 16 December, 2022.
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For more recommendations, read or Mrs Harris Goes To Paris Movie Review here.
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