From Warner Bros. Pictures and director James Wan comes an action-packed adventure that spans the vast, visually breathtaking underwater world of the seven seas, “Aquaman,” starring Jason Momoa in the title role. The film reveals the origin story of half-human, half-Atlantean Arthur Curry and takes him on the journey of his lifetime–one that will not only force him to face who he really is, but to discover if he is worthy of who he was born to be… a king.
A few days ago saw a poster of Aquaman (Hindi) on some random page on Instagram and it was titled as Samundar Ka Baahubali (Ocean’s Baahubali) which literally is what the story is all about. If you’re an Indian reading this you know what Baahubali was all about. Two brothers, one rightful king, fighting for the throne, facing many obstacles. Take all this under the sea and you’ll get Aquaman. Don Burgess, the cinematographer, who before this has just done 2002’s Spiderman in this genre. He comes back to this zone & perfects almost every camera angle.
The transition scenes from air to water shows the optimum usage of Burgess’ cameras. The undersea life has been captured with a dreamy vision. It’s nothing like ever seen before. It’s one thing to watch people conversing underwater but to watch just rambling each other is a delight. Yes, it had its drawbacks as the second half gets a bit messy. But, majority of the film under or above water is at par excellence.
Jason Momoa is here to be Aquaman forever! It would be impossible to find a substitute for him, if ever DC changes its mind regarding the casting. He’s one of those actors who’re just born to do certain kind of roles. Have we found a perfect Batman, yet, after Christian Bale? Momoa just gets under the skin of Aquaman and it’s hard to pick out the actor from him.
Amber Heard is one of the most beautiful redheads to come out of Hollywood. As Mera, she has a meaty role supporting the Aquaman. Yes, there are few awkward falls and pickups which lead to a cheesy love story but it kinda sums up right by the end. Patrick Wilson as King Orm does a Loki here and is fine with his performance. He deserved a much more detailed written character & this could’ve turned the game for the film. In the quest of making it all about Aquaman, makers forget to fill the minute details of other characters.
Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as Black Mantis, yet again, a supremely wasted opportunity. This is where Black Panther shined with Michael B. Jordan leading the destructive side. Here, everything falls a bit short ahead of our big friendly giant in Aquaman. The love story angle of Willem Dafoe as Tom and Nicole Kidman as Atlanna works very well. They could’ve played a similar idea with developing an emotional core with Atlanna and Arthur as well. They do it to a limited extent but it falls flat.
James Wan makes his debut in the superhero genre and he starts with a bang. He definitely uses his old-school tricks from the Conjuring and Insidious universe to evoke those thrills. He succeeds at most of the places & it’s just a stretch at some. Despite a paper-thin story, he manages to pull off a visual spectacle and that’s where the movie wins some brownie points.
After doing wonders in Wonderwoman, Rupert Gregson-Williams, straight from the school of Hans Zimmer, hypes up the level in this one. With his traditional videogame(sh) touch, Aquaman is high on some amazing music. What I missed amidst all the pumped up instruments, was a good theme music like Wonderwoman.
All said and done, Aquaman one of the best solo superhero movies to come out of Hollywood. I’m yet to see Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse but Aquaman definitely topples Black Panther for me. A chance for DCEU to redeem its lost glory and rise up strong with upcoming projects. It’s a grand and entertaining underwater delight.
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