Of Blue Skinned Aliens and Wise Cracking Idiots!

After a very long time (read eons), I’ve had the pleasure of watching two really great movies back to back. Each different from the other in terms of country of origin, genre, budgets and obviously stories, but each one an absolute gem.

The first movie is the sci-fi fantasy epic, Avatar. Visionary director, James Cameron has given us cinematic masterpieces such as Aliens, Terminator, Abyss and Titanic. With Avatar, Cameron has created nothing short of history.

Avatar is not about telling a very intricate story with layered characters and numerous subplots. In fact for the most part, the story is fairly predictable. If you’ve seen The Last Of The Mohicans or The Last Samurai you already know the plot. So if you are expecting a phenomenal story, well don’t. In Fact you’ve probably even read this little piece that’s been doing the rounds of the Internet, which points out some interesting and funny similarities between Avatar and Pocahontas.

But what Avatar is about is an entirely new level of visual effects, no strike that, the visuals are not effects, they are the movie! The CGI in this movie is beyond words, it is unreal! But then, Cameron is known for his use of technology to tell his story. The scene in Terminator-2 Judgment Day where the T-1000 rises from the floor is probably one of the most defining moments in cinematic history!

Not only has Cameron spawned an entire planet and ecology, but also an entirely new culture, that of the Na’Vi (the alien race shown in the movie, i.e. the blue skinned folks!). The spectrum of different species that he featured in the movie were so detailed that for a moment I felt that these creatures actually exist!

Avatar is a definite must watch for the stunning new level of CGI and visual effects that Cameron has introduced. Movie visuals are not going to remain the same after this!

The other movie that made me stand up and take note (not to mention shout “Encore, Encore”) was Rajkumar Hirani’s latest masterpiece, 3 Idiots. Adapted from Chetan Bhagat’s best-seller, Five Point Someone, the movie stars Aamir Khan, Sharman Joshi and Madhavan.

For those who have read the book (myself included),don’t expect a page-by-page adaptation, as the movie is quite different, with only certain subtle similarities, that do not have a huge bearing on the main plot. (Although there are those who disagree!)

3 Idiots, like Hirani’s earlier movies, tackles a social topic. But in typical Hirani-Chopra style the message is not at all preachy and is loaded with tons of humor and punch. The topic this time around is that of the educational system of the country, particularly the graduate colleges.

The brilliance of the movie lies in it’s witty dialogue and an absolute stellar performance by the three lead actors, Khan has once again claimed the crown of a true actor with his effortless portrayal of a twenty something college student. In fact I had already mentioned in an earlier post that this movie would be another feather in the already crowded hat of Aamir Khan.

If you’ve ever gone through the ordeal of being a student in the Indian education system or know someone who has, is or will bear this ordeal, 3 Idiots is a must watch. If not, still catch it for the sheer brilliant story-telling and absolutely hilarious comedy.

So there you have it, Avatar and 3 Idiots, the two movies that helped me end 2009 on a very positive note! if you haven’t already caught these movies, get your tickets and watch them on the big screen…NOW!

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