Review: Avatar – Desi concept videsi effects

Yes we did really say that! Before you issue a fatwa against us, hear us out atleast once. Afterall even we ought to have a chance to save our already dwindling number of readers. Reviews are generally out by the weekend at DappanKoothu, but this time we waited for the bugles to stop blaring. Despite having watched it on opening day, we chose to let the fanboys go gaga and thereby not ruining anyone’s party. We’ve actually had it with the deluge of tweets, status messages and facebook updates with everyone raving about it, multiple times a day. Come on, it is a good movie alright, but that doesn’t mean you affirm the same day after day! Now this isn’t like a lets-trash-avatar post, nor are we doing it to grab some eyeballs. Well frankly some eyeballs might actually help, but that isn’t the point here. Although it might be fun to start a hashtag like #pwnavatar or something witty like the guys do. Now we don’t have anything against the movie, it is a visual marvel, a great experience and a must watch in an IMAX preferably. Having said that and redeeming ourselves for the title, we shall now get into the reasons for our desecration.

Let me tell you the story of a desi movie I was watching last week, in fact let us make it a game. I’ll give you the main plotline devoid any names, and you guys come up with the name of the movie, language and lead actors. It’s not quite a quiz but then feel free to google it or even use bing if it is still around! There is a slum/basti/chawl in a plush locality in the city. It often happens when sprawling buildings spring up around such areas, and the land value shoots up. Bring in a greedy and wealthy builder/businessman who wants the land for a 5-star hotel which is usually the case. Unable to evacuate the locals, he employs a street-smart rowdy and entrusts him with gaining the trust of the locals. While everyone despises the rowdy, a beautiful lass takes interest in him and slowly the whole community warms up to him. He then solves some of their problems and in mosts cases it is a drunkard/gambling husband or a wayward son brought back on track. He instills confidence in the locals, breathes a new lease of life into the area and as expected falls for the lass. Overcome by the love showered upon him by the basti/chawl wale, he decides to rebel against the conniving sethji and support the cause of the locals. In the buildup to the climax, his cover is blown, he is disgraced and expelled form the basti/chawl for having played with their emotions. Then with an act of utmost bravery and courage, the rowdy wins back the heart of the locals, and together they expose the evil builders schemes/ get a court order/plainly send him to jail for his misappropriated funds.

It’s quite evident by now that there was no quiz and avatar is a rehashed Bachchan/Chiru or Rajnikanth movie
with aliens,
napalm and 3D effects
Rajnikanth movie packaged with aliens, napalm and 3D effects! Set the above story in a distant planet, with a luminous rain forest in place of the basti/chawl, and 10ft tall blue aliens with tails as the protagonists, what do you get? The movie has many set-pieces much like the Manchester United team in its red glory, which all do come together and work in the end.  Starting form the scenes where Avatar boy makes a fool of himself during his training sessions, but the alien girl can’t stop herself from falling to his boyish charms. Nikhil Advani must be smiling secretly for its rings a bell with the disastrous CC2C and it’s ‘iron forearm technique‘. That’s how Siddharth courted the gorgeous Trisha in NVNV and many other such films where the hero steps out to  learn something new, only to suck in the end. There is the coming of age scene where the hero must perform a exceedingly brave act to get counted as a hero by the townsfolk. Rajnikanth did that when he tamed a bull and what followed was one of his most iconic songs in ‘Murattu Kaalai‘. No one can forget the tiger-fighting scene in ‘Khoon Pasina‘ that led Rekha to let Bachchan into her pants, only in the movie mind you! King Khan parodied it in ‘Om Shanti Om‘, and in our case here  avatar boy tames a dragon like creature and later the Gulshan Grover of all giant flying dragons/dinosaurs.

The female kicking ass to save the boy is a sign of women empowerment and purely original. Desi movies are way too chauvinistic to let the girl save the hero. Our quintessential damsels in distress are always waiting to be rescued, but they do fight the angel of death and threaten the gods to spare the livesthreaten the gods to spare the lives of their spouses. Movies like ‘Jai Santoshi Maa‘ and even my favorite MI3, are clear examples where the evil spouse(sometimes good) is forgiven by the ‘bharatiya naari‘ as she holds the deity ransom till his life is spared/restored. That is exactly what happens in Avatar as everyone collectively prays to the forest deity, threatening to continue the cacophony if the avatar dude isn’t brought to life! Nothing and Nobody ever comes close to this awesome scene from an amman movie which for some god awful reason was dubbed into atleast two languages! It is beyond comparison and I do not wish to spoil the experience by describing it. With such set-pieces that have been working for ages in desi cinema, there was no way James Cameron could go wrong with Avatar. Afterall he did make the mega sleep-fest Titanic, which according to us was the biggest desi cinema tribute ever paid till Avatar happened! If you love desi cinema then Avatar is like putting together Holi, Diwali and Dushera, so don’t miss it. For the IMAX 3D experience and being one of the best tales told on celluloid, we give it a DappanKoothu rating of 7/10!

(Image courtesy: hubpages)