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Old 12-02-2010, 01:59 AM
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Ikran Makto
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Default Colonel Miles Quaritch: Insanity's Edge?

Quaritch seemed like a person who was dutiful but misguided. He did his job well. In any normal movie, he could have been the hero but here he was the antagonist.

In the original release, I had the impression that he kept his sanity throughout the film, determined to carry out his mission. Once the Dragon gunship crashed, he went out alone on what was perhaps a suicidal mission. Was it highly irrational? Yes. Was it insane? quite hard to tell.

After watching Avatar CE, the Quaritch-Selfridge deleted scene before the final battle gave me the impression that Quaritch had gone over the edge when he took over the base. The look on his face was that of a person consumed with fury. In the extended dialogue between Parker and Quaritch before Hometree was hit, Quaritch seemed a lot more assertive of his intentions and far more desperate for any kind of fighting.

So did Colonel Miles Quaritch ever reach the point of insanity? If so when did he become insane? Was it when he took over, when he set off alone in an amp suit, or at some other point in the movie? Was he insane from the beginning?

Last edited by Banefull; 12-02-2010 at 02:01 AM.
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Old 12-02-2010, 06:46 AM
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Really good questions!

I think the point when he truly went insane was after he leaped out of the falling Dragon gunship. Or even a little earlier, when he spots Jake from the cockpit and his voice suddenly becomes harsh: "That's him, GET HIM!" After he's alone on the ground, he realizes there's nothing he can do to win his war; the only way he can get a shred of satisfaction is by killing the marine to whom he promised 'real legs.'

Was he insane from the beginning...I don't think he was as unstable as he was at the end, I think that deleted scene with Selfridge shows him on a power trip more than anything. Although I might have to watch it again, maybe I'll change my mind.
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Old 12-02-2010, 07:40 AM
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He did have some top quality "crazy eyes" in that deleted scene. Definitely someone who had lost it.
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Old 12-02-2010, 09:51 AM
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Absolutely not. I don't think he was ever, at any time, at a loss for wits. He was just angry. As I've mentioned before, it seems like Quaritch had the lives of his fellow men on Pandora in mind when he started searching for Jake after the Dragon crashed. And not just his fellow men; the welfare of the RDA's operation. Quaritch figured that Jake was the main source of the Na'vi becoming so riled up... and he was right. Jake was the primary source for the Na'vi's morale concerning the destruction of the RDA. They weren't even thinking of attacking Hell's Gate before Jake came along. Jake was the instigator.

With all this in mind, even after being beat, his idea was to kill Jake, thus killing the leadership the Na'vi had. With Jake out of the way, the RDA still might've had a chance to reform and defend themselves more adequately. Think about it: had Quaritch killed Jake, the RDA might've lost the first battle, but the overall war against the Na'vi would've been won.

Last edited by Woodsprite; 12-02-2010 at 09:53 AM.
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Old 12-02-2010, 01:37 PM
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Well, you'd have to question why he took the job in the first place

But he certainly did lose it, I think earlier than then, when he decides to make the attack in the first place, since he's actually doing the exact opposite of his job and getting just about every single marine on Pandora killed

Woodsprite, think about it. Even if Jake HAD died, the Na'vi would still be working together, they'd finally had enough of the skypeople - I'd even say that if he died that would make the Na'vi even MORE committed to getting rid of the marines etc. , and anyway, all the marines are dead with >1year until the next ISV. In that time, every single person at Hell's Gate could have been killed or captured, and in the year before the next ISV, Hell's Gate could have EASILY been 100% completely destroyed.
If Jake had died, then what would have happened? All the marines were still dead, there was still a year to he next ISV, the Na'vi would have taken over Hell's Gate and probably killed many of the people there in retaliation.
I know you're a Quaritch fanboy but you are ignoring the facts here
PS. They were thinking of doing it, they killed all the marines at the bulldozers, then when Jake comes back to speak to Eytukan, he appeared to me to be planning something.
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Old 12-02-2010, 04:51 PM
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Quaritch had lost his humanity (not sanity..that's different) before he got to Pandora, then when he got there and almost was killed (likely by a Thanator) that kind of changed his mind set.
He was just waiting for the right time to be able to cut loose and hose down everything on the planet that got in his way. Once he saw Jake was the one attacking the 'dozer, he realized that he no longer had Jake under his command. He lost it a little bit there. When a man changes from being focused to frenzied, your mind is lost. He thought the battle would be cut and dried, then when things started to go bad ('Weapons free!') he started to get a little frantic. Once he realized that Jake was the root of the problem he was bent on revenge with a frenzy.
He's like Ahab, bent on a self defined revenge that seems insane and in any other situation would be considered crazy. His reactions escalated with the events that prompted his actions.
(See the article I posted with the Stephen Lang commentary on Quaritch.)
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Old 12-02-2010, 10:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrice Maire View Post
Quaritch had lost his humanity (not sanity..that's different) before he got to Pandora, then when he got there and almost was killed (likely by a Thanator) that kind of changed his mind set.
He was just waiting for the right time to be able to cut loose and hose down everything on the planet that got in his way. Once he saw Jake was the one attacking the 'dozer, he realized that he no longer had Jake under his command. He lost it a little bit there. When a man changes from being focused to frenzied, your mind is lost. He thought the battle would be cut and dried, then when things started to go bad ('Weapons free!') he started to get a little frantic. Once he realized that Jake was the root of the problem he was bent on revenge with a frenzy.
He's like Ahab, bent on a self defined revenge that seems insane and in any other situation would be considered crazy. His reactions escalated with the events that prompted his actions.
(See the article I posted with the Stephen Lang commentary on Quaritch.)
This is what I thought too. I think that by the end of the movie, Quaritch's whole reason was to carry out a personal vendetta against Jake. He may have took it too personally. In addition, I think he had a vendetta against the Na'vi and Pandora itself. He already has an intense dislike for the place from the very beginning and that probably colored every action that he took. He lost all his reason by the end and in the process got a lot of guys killed who didn't need to have.
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Old 12-02-2010, 11:21 PM
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Hmm, it's a good question. I tend to stay that by the end of the movie, yes, he has snapped to a certain extent. I wouldn't call him insane, but I think the years of being unable to keep his guys alive, all those years of watching his guys die and brought back to base injured and screaming and him unable to stop it, or even retaliate because it's not a war...that causes damage. So I think by the time he gets to strike back, finally, he grabs it and will not let go.

I wouldn't call him insane at that point (and he's still exceedingly competent) but he's still getting there.
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Old 12-03-2010, 11:51 PM
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Quaritch is definitely the most complex character in the movie. His exact motivations are never made clear except that he was a natural warrior and nothing made him happier than a fight. He clearly wanted a war to break out with the Na'vi (even without the deleted scenes). His style was to be the biggest, toughest SoB around and he took any opposition to his actions as a personal affront. I mean he would punch out a paraplegic who had not actually broken any regulation or disobeyed any order just because he felt personally betrayed. He was a bully with a mean streak. And his own glorification meant far more than the lives of his men. At no point during the battle does he ever even consider the losses his forces are taking. His order is always to just keep going, press on no matter what the cost. I'm not sure if that qualifies as insanity or not. But at the very end, with everything lost, all he can think about if gaining revenge. Note how when the Dragon is crippled his only thought is to get out so he can keep fighting. He makes no attempt to save the crew, doesn't even seem the slightest bit concerned about them. All he wants is for them to keep the Dragon airborne long enough for him to get into his AMP suit and escape. He's definitely not someone I'd want to serve under!
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