What is most exciting is the fact that by the time Avatar V rolls out in 2028, we might be able to watch 3D movies without 3D glasses. That’s Cameron’s ultimate vision (again, pun intended). And that’s something I can get excited about. (Photo: AP)
But for those of us who wear glasses, 3D extravaganzas like Way of Water are not nearly as enjoyable as for those who have perfect vision
Written by Kuriakose Saju
December 18, 2022 12:02:47 pm
In 1992, a Malayalam movie came out that saw the legendary Mohanlal acting for the first time under directors of yesteryear commercial hitmakers, Siddique-Lal. The movie was about a young man who is sent by an (obviously evil) real estate company to live in a slum, win the trust of the locals there, and convince them to move out, so that the (obviously evil) real estate company can take over the land and make millions. Of course, said young man has a change of heart, falls in love with a local girl, unites the different factions within the slum, and eventually leads the charge against the builder mafioso. The fact that the director duo was inspired by an even older Scottish film called Local Hero was par for the course; they were famous for looking westward for inspiration for their plotlines, from Hitchcock to Shakespeare.
There are stories of how they would rent out video cassettes of foreign films by the truckload and watch them in marathon sessions. And this was way before the internet, before “binge” sessions were part of the common parlance. What they did really well, though, was add local flavour, that extra dash of “masala” with laugh-out-loud hijinks and memorable comic turns by the supporting cast. Vietnam Colony was an epic success with the right mix of comedy and pathos, becoming the second-highest grosser of the year at the local box office.
Which is all to say, this is why I was never really blown away by James Cameron’s fantastical journey to Pandora 13 years ago. When Avatar came out, I kept thinking back to Vietnam Colony. It was the same story, only set on an alien planet with a lot more sci-fi elements and a lot less slapstick. And I loved the slapstick. Having said that, if Siddique-Lal were specialists in hyper localisation (much like what Basil Joseph did with Minnal Murali a couple of years ago), what Cameron does well is to push the boundaries of the technology available to him when it comes to his storytelling. And I loved Cameron’s work.
The year before Vietnam Colony came out, Arnold Schwarzenegger had become a household name across India, thanks to arguably the greatest sequel history of cinema. Terminator 2: Judgement Day still enjoys a cult following across the country, and no thanks in small part due to the outstanding VFX Cameron employed. It was the first time a fully CGI character appeared as one of the main leads in a mainstream commercial film, and was also the most expensive film ever made in its time.
In 1997, when Cameron decided to immortalise the Titanic tragedy on celluloid, making Leonardo DiCaprio the sexiest boy-man alive, he again pushed the boundaries of film tech and film budgets. Cameron employed a combination of intricately detailed miniature sets, green screens, CGI compositing, gargantuan set pieces, and practical effects that would have given Christopher Nolan wet dreams (pun intended). Cameron gave his audience a theatre experience so realistic, the only thing missing was actual buckets of water splashing around the movie hall.
When the first Avatar came out in 2009, Cameron went full guns blazing on the 3D experience. People were walking out of theatres, minds blown by how vivid this fictional planet looked up close and personal. It didn’t matter whether the storyline reeked of a white saviour complex, Cameron had effectively changed the way we would watch movies for the next decade or so. Everything was 3D now, whether it needed it or not. And that was the point where I begged to differ from the visionary. As someone bespectacled like myself, 3D movies are not nearly as enjoyable as for those who have perfect vision. I’m sure there are many more of my kind who do not find the idea of wearing glasses over glasses as a step in the right direction for evolved movie-watching.
But that’s the thing with Cameron. He’s fully aware of this. For me, the most exciting thing about Cameron’s Avatarverse isn’t that the sequel (which has been in the making for 13 years now and is playing theatres right now) is going to be screened at 48 frames per second instead of the traditional 24. It’s not that the third and fourth ones might explore volcanoes and deserts across Pandora, or maybe even another exoplanet in Pandora’s general orbit. Nope, what is most exciting is the fact that by the time Avatar V rolls out in 2028, we might be able to watch 3D movies without 3D glasses. That’s Cameron’s ultimate vision (again, pun intended). And that’s something I can get excited about. After all, if anyone can make that happen, it’s James Cameron.
Also connect to:— https://ravitiku.com/web-stories/avatar
Kuriakose is a writer and stand-up comedian
Source: Indian Express