AVATAR: THE WAY OF WATER. Brave hearts [REVIEW]
Welcome back to Pandora. Avatar: The Way of Water has the same production majesty as its famous predecessor, but it is a much more intimate story. It sounds paradoxical in the context of a giga production with all the money in the world, and with a really bombastic prologue, but please believe me. We start with a high C, but then the movie noticeably slows down and fades out. The change in the narrative optics is certainly related to the fact that we are dealing with only a new chapter in a saga written for years. At this stage, neither final catastrophe nor final triumph looms over us. When there are no extremes, nuances come to mind (in the world-creation dimension and, what is particularly important, the psychological drawings of the characters). The calmer tone and the lack of plot rush work in favor of The Way of Water. You will grit your teeth at a few screenwriting fouls (“Something Ends. Something Begins”), but in its assumptions it is not a cinema of words, but of Images.
Several years have passed since the Na’vi tribe repelled the invasion of Earthlings greedy for the planet’s resources. Jake remains the chief, happily married to Neytiri and the father of four children. Everyone has had enough time to get used to the calm, but of course it can’t last forever. The old enemy will return with a vengeance and our heroes will have to flee. They will leave their beloved forest and head for new territories. Their haven and temporary asylum will be a village on an archipelago of islands. Jake enjoys a well-deserved reputation, so Chief Tanawari and his wife Ronal will receive his family with honors. They will only make one request to them. “If we live together, then you need to know our customs, live like us, love our reef and our life-giving water world.”
Avatar: The Way of Water takes much of the focus away from Jake and Neytiri and focuses on their children as they explore their new environment with Tanawari’s sons and daughter. The latter are rather reluctant towards them, often pointing out their superiority or even racial purity. Jake’s children are often called mutants or freaks (they have five fingers after their father). Cameron writes out a network of legitimate tensions, character conflicts, claims and ambitious jostling. Fists will be in motion, love may sprout somewhere, unexpected similarities and twin experiences will come to light. All this inscribed in a breathtaking landscape and a mystical underwater world. Avatar: The Way of Water is a prominent representative of the cinema, which guarantees aesthetic revelations and a pleasant feeling that we are dealing with something new or not yet fully discovered. It is true that cinema can be a magical vehicle.
Finding a common language and reaching out for two siblings is the film’s primary dramaturgical axis, but James Cameron also reflects on the roles of fathers and mothers. Jake can’t find a parenting balance with his sons. Expressions of boundless love must be intertwined with categorical orders. He hears “yes, sire!” more often than “Yes, Father.” The more sensitive Neytiri tries to influence rough relationships, but the sense of threat still makes discipline seem more important than expressions of parental love. There is a lot going on between the characters and in their heads. In terms of motivation, character needs, conflict evolution and friendship, Avatar: The Way of Water is a truly dynamic cinema. There are two other intriguing couples (father-son, mother-daughter) corresponding to this, but let them remain a mystery to you. These are philosophically complex weaves of the power of nature, technology and parent-child love. A specific proposition for cyberpunk fans.
Of course, in due time, rifles and offensive weapons will come back to you. Technology will boast of cutting-edge developments and there will be several expected confrontations. James Cameron will only shift into fifth gear for a moment: he likes it too and knows that everyone is waiting for it. The Way of Water will then rise to the heights of staging finesse (the memories of the Titanic will come back to you) and the nature-moral fantasy cinema will turn into a war spectacle again. Top-notch choreography. A daring engineering show, operator acrobatics and assembly precision. James Cameron got the proportions right. We met the planet in Avatar. In The Way of Water, we really get closer to its inhabitants.