Sunday, January 31, 2010

Avatar and The Road

Went to both these films in the past two weeks and found neither of them more than mildly diverting. I rarely enjoy films that have loads of CGI flying and fighting sequences - and I have a low tolerance of dragons and the exotic monsters of fantasy. The real world is grim and fantastical enough for me. Star Wars left me cold, for example, and I was unmoved by the Lord of the Rings. Avatar is no doubt a treat for the senses and the 3D effects were stunning. There parallels to be drawn with Yankee imperialism and rampant capitalism, and the remorseless pillaging of the Earth's resources, but the basic story was simplistic in the extreme - full of stock characters and situations. It was entertainment without content - like eating a meringue. The Road on the other hand was content without entertainment - a wholemeal muffin maybe. No film has the right to be so grey. The design and cinematography were sensational - image after image took one's breath away. But there was no break in the relentless grimness of the story. Even Beckett relieves the gloom with an occasional joke. You could admire a lot of it but you were hardly entertained.