Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Technology abuse

In 2009 a movie released that bought, what was then expensive, rarely used technology to mainstream cinema - Enter Avatar and the era of 3D. The stupendous success of James Cameroon's saga in 3D made it the buzz word. Suddenly everything is in 3D - films, newspaper ads, outdoor hoardings, television sets. It's the new money spinner - I mean just look at the 20K price difference between a regular plasma television with HD etc etc. and one with 3D.

James Cameroon, when he wrote (and made) Avatar, wrote it to ensure that the film maximised the impact that 3D technology can have and produced scenes that were stunning to say the least. Before Avatar, few short animation films as well as some NASA documentaries (please correct me if I am wrong here) used 3D - wowing us with images that were larger than life. Post Avatar, I can still name a few mainstream films that used 3D well (How to train your dragon, Alice in wonderland)... thankfully! So I won't write off the technology entirely but I do have a problem with how it is being used currently.

Today every film that is anything but a romance or a family drama is in 3D. I've gotten to a point where I go scouting for 2D shows of films because I do not want to see them in 3D; because 3D destroys what might have been a good film; because technology is being used for the heck of it, without rhyme or reason. This latest rant is stemming out of my experience of watching Don 2 yesterday in 3D (There were no 2D shows in the multiplexes I frequent here in Chennai... such a pity really!). 3D, with it's extended depth of field, made the film smaller than life. What should have been larger than life, thrilling action sequences became small, distant events. Heroes and villains instead of towering over the audience were dwarfed by it. And this perhaps, is the film's biggest failing. I daresay audiences who watched it in 2D would have enjoyed it more especially the chase and action sequences - so much more suited to the flatness of two dimensions. I daresay I will enjoy in more on TV at home... in 2D! I hope film makers realize, and soon, that they can do more harm to their craft than good by using technology for the heck of it. Till then I hope to stay away from pointless 3D as much as I can and save myself many a headache.

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