Avatar is back in theaters in sparkling 4K HDR 3D and roaring Dolby Atmos mix
Screengrab from the movie Avatar

Guwahati: Avatar is back in theatres and it is the second time that it has done so in Assam since its initial release in 2009. I was up in arms yet again to see this film as it still remains one of the most watchable films in theatres and one that demands to be seen on the largest screen possible more than other films.

There was also news of some additional footage added that elevated my expectations for the film. This time I was accompanied by two very interesting people who had very different reasons to be there. I was really excited to see their reactions as it would document for me the reasons that made Avatar such a great theatrical experience and also help me decipher more reasons why I loved the film so much.

As excepted, the film turned out to be another overwhelmingly rewarding experience to watch on the big screen. The footage has been remastered in 4K and this is the first version of the film that we are getting to experience in this resolution.

The 4K rendering has elevated the clarity and vibrance and accentuated the visuals significantly. It gave me a similar feeling to what we experience when we slap the “accentuate” filter on a captured image in Snapspeed. Every frame is a lot more detailed and one can practically see nuances and even slight flaws in the animation that was practically invisible in the previous versions. The High Dynamic Range makes the images pop out even more and this works perfectly in tandem with the sensational 3D rendering of the images.

This is by far the best 3D rendering that you will see in recent times. Even though I am not a big fan of 3D, Avatar, is one of those rare films that looks best in 3D. The film was shot keeping the 3D rendering in mind and the 3D is used not as a gimmick but as an integral part of how the film is rendered visually. It adds a dimension to the images that is not only important but is key to understanding and getting the feel of the quantum of risk, beauty, thrill, and an adrenalin rush in some of the most innovative sequences of the film.

The film’s sound is upgraded to a Dolby Atmos mix and that is an even bigger upgrade than what the team has achieved in terms of the visuals. For me, sound matters a little more than the visuals, and for that, the upgradation of the sound was not only more welcome but was also more noticeable and important in uplifting the overall experience of the film. It is a fact that the Inox Insignia, Guwahati has the best sound mix, sweetest bass, and a thumping audio output. Having the opportunity to watch this film there contributed heavily to enjoying the sound pretty close to what it was intended to be like.

My companions had a great time with the film as well. While one was in awe of the grandiosity of the visuals and the scintillating sound design, the other, much harder to impress soul, was quickly immersed in a world that she knew all too well but was mesmerized by the upgraded form of presentation of it. While one was in awe of how fantastical, expansive, and awe-inspiring the visual design of the film was and how it was still able to captivate him even after multiple viewings (albeit on smaller screens), the other was particularly impressed by the pulsating soundtrack and its upgraded rendering.  

Avatar with its simplistic story, straightforward characters, and linear storytelling techniques is one of those spectacles that appeal to the visual and auditory senses in men more than the thought process. It has a few bravura inspirational moments but the majority of its charm is extracted from its innovative characters, mystical creatures, detailed and fantastical world, and its various aspects. More than anything, the film scores with its imaginative storytelling techniques. A visual and auditory upgrade of such a film makes sense since it contributes to upgrading the aspects of the film that matter the most in the experience and its overall impact.

Thus, it makes sense to watch this new version of Avatar. For all those who haven’t seen this film in theatres before, it is a must-watch. For the fans of the film like me, it is a must-watch. For all those who have seen it in theatres before but are not apprehensive about enjoying a better version of it again, this can be an engrossing and enjoyable experience. It must also be noted that this is the best time to watch this film in theatres since its first sequel is slated to release on 16th December 2022. It would be a good idea to revisit Pandora before diving deep into it again in December but with a mind already initiated in the world’s many intricacies and a reminder of the story that was before.

Also Read | ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’: Bizzare and unbelievably edgy


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