December 19, 2009

Yada Yada Hi Dharmasya…

The scriptures promise the return of Vishnu the Preserver every time ‘Dharma’ is under attack. We Hindus believe that he has promised to us that he will return to save us as ‘Avatar’ – and that is exactly what James Cameron’s latest movie does for us. The eerie resemblance with the scriptures is not just in the name. The Na’vi are blue in colour, the colour of the 2 most revered Avatars of Vishnu. His ascent from the skies on the ‘greatest of all flying creatures’ was reminiscent of Vishnu ascending on Garuda to lead the Devas against the Asuras.

In the days when protestors are filling up the streets of Copenhagen, when world leaders are on their way to failing us and leading us to our doom, we are still searching for the last hope. And if the only thing you take away from the movie is that we individually can be the last hope for mankind then the movie has succeeded for today even though terrorism runs amuck, the most important ‘Dharma’ is still our first allegiance to the “Earth Mother”.

There has been a recent soul searching amongst Movie Makers. We have travelled from Independence Day to District 9 and now to Avatar. The story line is simple. It’s 2154. Earth is depleted of her resources and humankind has found “unobtainium” in the distant Pandora. But the Pandorans do not need anything from us, they are happy in their life, in touch with their nature and Mother Goddess.

The scientists have been able to develop Avatars – Navi bodies which can be controlled through human life, letting a crippled Jack walk, run and feel free. He is sent as an infiltrator amongst the Na’vis but then he realizes the difference between right and wrong. All through the movie I was reminded of the Spanish invasion and the subsequent plundering of the Aztec and the Inca Empires. History however never repeats itself in the movies. Jack Sulley became one with his Avatar and led the resistance and finally the invaders were pushed back to Earth.

The magnificence of the movie is not just about creating distinct new worlds. (I have dabbled in Klingon, Vulcan and even Elven. If I were the innocent, wondering kid I was once, I would have loved to learn Na’vi too) Many have done it before, but seldom have someone done it so well for one single movie and with so much care.

Do watch it in 3-D if possible. Even otherwise it’s worth it. But do not expect a breathtaking fight sequence from the first scene. Understand the subtle nuances of the movie in the first half, understand the life of the Na’vi and maybe, just maybe, you can be the ‘Avatar’ Earth is waiting for.


Meow said...

NOw your post is tempting me to watch this movie.. though am not all that excited about this movie :)

Nibedita said...

nice parallelism drawn!

Madhurjya (Banjo) said...

Thanks Sowmya.

Nibedita.. Did you watch it finally?