Bend it like Shyamalan
We saw "The Last Airbender" today at the local theater. Went in with low expectations because a lot of reviewers had said "stay away. not worth the money. story not adapted from the original cartoon, dialogues not understood, concept not obvious " etc. etc.
Came out saying "Wow! WoW! WOW!"
Literally had goosebumps watching the climax. More than the visuals, the music for the movie was simply amazing. If any movie should an Oscar nomination for sound mixing and sound editing, this movie should be on the top of the list.
San asked me a very simple question when we were on our way back...
"why do people say this is a bad movie? What was wrong with it?"
My theory iss that it has become fashionable to bash Shyamalan as a failure, one hit wonder etc. etc.
When mentioning the concept part, San said "I can totally see why non-asians won't get this movie. we are raised to understand supernatural concepts along the lines of earth, wind, water, fire and also have spirits and gods for everything from sun, moon, stars etc. Westerners who are not raised on a diet of Vayu bhagwan and varuna bhagwan won't get it"
She was right on. We have not seen the original cartoon series. So adherence to the original was not exactly a criteria for us. The plot was good, the special effects and the music spectacular and the story was self explanatory.
The whole concept of an avatar was amazingly explained in this movie. There are many avatars of divinity that are capable of saving the world or redeeming humankind. The one key element of an avatar is acceptance by the folks of that day that the human incarnate is indeed an "avatar"! It is people who confer the avatar title on someone special. That was shown very nicely in this film.
This is truly an epic film. Jr. should be ready to watch this one in a years time when she is less scared of fighting in movies. The little one might watch it though.
Looking forward to the next installment...
Shyamalan is still one good film maker!
A note to the Ladies and little girls : Please please go to the restroom before the movie starts. We understand that with all that water flowing in the movie and the water bending on a giant screen, there is an automatic reflex for you to go to the restroom.. but then when you go on a procession with your kids or your kids take you along, kind of makes it difficult for the other folks...
ps. Did not see it in 3D. So do not know if the 3D version would have been better.
also, Hindu mythology makes it easy to follow this. Vishnu came as a giant fish to control the ocean in his first avatar. then he came as a tortoise/ boar/ plough bearer to control the earth, as Krishna he is shown as being able to control the sudharshan chakra (a ring of fire), etc. etc. That makes you go "okay.. what next"...