If the world was to be judged in black and white, what would you choose – style or substance? I know most of you would opt for substance. But I am afraid to break it to you that this world is full of show offs. Evidently, a good marketing gimmick or PR stunt most of the time tramples, mocks and ridicules good quality content.
Now, calm down, I know that of late there have been several movies that have showcased the power of content and have been successful. But we are not talking about a regional or a short time phenomenon rather we are making a point in a wider context. There can’t be a better example to understand this other than the success of Hollywood’s Brahmastra. Yes, we are talking about the so-called sacrosanct movie ‘Avatar’.
Time is the fairest and toughest judge
Canadian Director James Cameroon is coming up with another mega budget movie in the Avatar franchise. The second film in the franchise, ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ is slated to be released in theatres on 16th of December. Apparently, the production team has planned at least three more movies in the Avatar Franchises. Now, it begs the question: was the first movie that good or was it just a visual treat that cashed in way more than what its substance could have?
In any one-of-a-kind event, rationality is the first casualty as emotions take the centre stage. But as time passes, rationality kicks in and we analyse things in a wider perspective. At a later stage, our judgements are not driven by the biases of the PR and buzz around the event or without any peer pressure.
Shattering the illusion of Avatar
The first movie, Avatar was released way back in 2009. Reportedly, it was made with a gigantic budget of Rs 2500 crore. The film was directed by the acclaimed director James Cameroon. He had earlier directed masterpieces like Terminator series and Titanic among others. On account of these highly acclaimed movies, he carved a legacy for himself in the Hollywood industry. Evidently, the gigantic budget, association of James Cameroon and the eye catchy visuals were the reason for the earlier buzz around Avatar.
To put it simply, it was the previous great works of the director that first drew audiences to the theatres. After that it was the illusion created at the behest of piles of money that baffled the audiences and made them awestruck for a brief period.
Apparently, with Rs 2500 crores, ISRO can demonstrate the scenic beauty of Mars at least ten times. So, apart from the glamour and shine, it was a terrible movie on the basis of plot line and badly lacked substance. The plot dragged around the story of oppressor and oppressed communities which has been used at least a gazillion times. It failed to live up to the expectation of being a James Cameroon movie. It was all gloss and no substance.
A movie is more than just few good scenes
If the charade and money created illusion is put aside, the movie will crumble under the weight of its terrible storyline and the hype of being a movie of a different league altogether. The film fails on all accounts be it the impactful acting skills or dialogue delivery of the main star cast.
The movie rightfully won the Oscar award in the cinematography category. But, if seen from a critical lens, it should have been shelved. Otherwise, some part of the budget should have been spent to find a right script that is worthy of such expense, hype and audiences’ time. The movie does not deserve to be in any acclaimed league that it is needlessly placed under thanks to the PR, illusion and sacrosanct aura created around it.
Avatar reminds us that all that glitters is not gold. It shows us how with abundant use of money and technology, this glittering sand of Hollywood can be repacked as a masterpiece worthy to have five movies.
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