Alita Battle Angel: An exclusive sneak peek
Arranged by Fox India, this was an exclusive event that happened on Monday in only three cities - Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai - as part of Alita Day celebrations
I don't particularly remember the day I fell in love with cinema, but I am pretty sure one of the driving reasons would be a little film called Titanic. I saw the film on the big screen of the old Rohini complex (a place where I also saw my first ever English film, Jackie Chan's Who am I?) and I remember how my eyes widened with awe as I saw the Titanic break in half. Nearly 20 years later, James Cameron, albeit this time as a writer-producer, made me feel that way again as I, as part of Cinema Express, got an exclusive sneak peek into Alita Battle Angel. Arranged by Fox India, this was an exclusive event that happened on Monday in only three cities - Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai - as part of Alita Day celebrations.
We were first asked to turn in our phones before we went in. I admit I was a bit disappointed that I wouldn't be able to show off on Instagram, but as a cinema-goer, it was an amazing experience. No one talking in between the show, no phone light flashing in your face.
The show started off with a video of James Cameron telling us how he has always wanted to bring Alita to the big screen, but because his time has been completely spent on Avatar (the 2009 film has as many as three sequels planned), he couldn't do it. He went on to say how happy he was when Robert Rodriguez approached him, and how he had handed over his script to the latter, along with over 600 notes he had made about the characters. He then handed over the reins to Rodriguez who promised us seven special scenes as part of the exclusive sneak peek.
These scenes centred primarily around Alita and her journey in understanding herself and the world around her. The opening scene showed Alita waking up to a new body. Alita is a cyborg and the way she admires herself and her interactions with Christopher Waltz's Ido and Keean Johnson's Hugo make us form an emotional bond with the character. I expect this will be the emotional anchor of the film. The other scenes were more involved in showing off the 'Battle' and 'Angel' parts of the film's title. We get to see her learn the sport 'motorball' for the first time and it was quite surprising how this alien sport evoked a childhood nostalgia in me thanks to the way the scene played out. This, however, is just the layup for the dunk later as Alita readies herself for a full-on professional version where everyone is out to kill her for reasons unknown. The battle scene that followed was hands down some of the best action choreography on film since probably Mad Max:Fury Road and it was quite something to behold in IMAX 3D. Alita also finds out about the Angel part of her origins as she journeys into the fantastic landscapes of Iron City and its outskirts.
As I handed back the 3D glass and switched on my phone, the first thing I wanted to tell the world was how good Alita Battle Angel was and how I couldn't wait for the full version. It was at this point I realised that Cameron and Rodriguez achieved what they set out to do with this exclusive sneak peek. The film hits the screens worldwide on February 14, 2019.