DIRECTOR: James Wan
LEAD CAST: Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Patrick Wilson, Dolph Lundgren, Yahya Abdul-MateenII, Willem Dafoe & Nicole Kidman
SCREENWRITER: David Leslie Johnson-McGoldrick
PRODUCER: Peter Safran & Rob Cowan
EDITOR: Kirk Morri
MUSICAL DIRECTOR: Rupert Gregson-Williams
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Don Burgess
DISTRIBUTOR: Warner Bros Pictures
RUNNING TIME: 143 mins.
Technical assessment: 4
Moral assessment: 3.5
CINEMA rating: V14
One stormy night, lighthouse keeper Tom Curry (Temuera Morrison) finds on the beach the unconscious Atlanna (Nicole Kidman), queen of Atlantis. He nurses her back to health, and love blooms between them, producing an inter-species son, Arthur. Soon Atlantean warriors storm the lighthouse to claim back their queen to fulfill her part in an arranged marriage. Knowing they won’t stop until she returns to Atlantis, Atlanna leaves Tom and the baby Arthur but entrusts the training of Arthur to her loyal adviser Nuidis Vulko (Willem Defoe). Though an heir to the underwater throne, the grown up Arthur (Jason Momoa) would rather go on with his happy life on the surface, but circumstances compel him to rise and save the people of the land and sea from the machinations of his half-brother, now Atlantis’ king, Orm.
High on production design and visual effects from great CGI, Aquaman is one of those movies you would want to see “the making of”. Director Wan wanted more than anything else to create an underwater superhero world that could match if not outdo other superworlds. When wedding inventiveness with whimsy entertains, why bother about science? Just put cynicism on hold and enjoy this origin story. Imagine a giant octopus playing the drums—one for each tentacle! Picture humongous crabs and deadly lobster claws, sharks and gigantic seahorses at war in heavy military armor and you’d wonder, Where the heck do the Atlanteans get all that metal? Atlanteans are also conveniently amphibian—can walk for hours in the desert without fainting from thirst, and can talk underwater without exhaling bubbles. Balancing these inventive fantasyscapes is the family drama that highlights performances and characterization.
The appeal of Aquaman lies in the very human qualities of its characters. Underneath the unbridled spectacle that’s almost cartoony in its ridiculousness are beings who feel and care and cry and fight and love and envy as humans do—whether they are earth mammals or underwater creatures. It only proves the universality of family and forgiveness as values that preserve man’s existence. The movie flies a flag for non-violence, showing how the deadliest of clashes can be resolved peacefully through dialogue. There is no room for vengeance here—only kindness.—TRT