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In Avatar The Way of Water (2022), @2hr 37min Jake wants to know where his daughters are:

Jake: Where are they?

Spider: The middle deck. Where they launch the subs. There's, like, a pool in the center. They're at the forward railing.

What does "forward railing" mean ?

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  • Are the subtitles automatically generated? It could just be the railing on a ship. These AI subtitles are not infallible. Is it possible to have a link to the clip?
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jul 7, 2023 at 9:50
  • @Mari-LouA Not AI generated subs. Commented Jul 7, 2023 at 9:58
  • Hmm, the sentences are very short. They could reflect the speaker's cadence. Can you please indicate the time these words are uttered, someone might have the movie.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jul 7, 2023 at 10:06
  • @Mari-LouA I added timestamp to the question. Commented Jul 7, 2023 at 10:22

1 Answer 1

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They're using nautical directions.

Forward is towards the front of a ship, aft is to the rear. To complete a simple sub-set, port is left, starboard is right, when looking forward.

So they're at the railing nearest the front of the vessel.

After comments
There seems to be some debate as to whether that's exactly what he said, or that he pronounced it differently, or if that's what he meant. Here's a still from the movie, with the official subs on.
He says it quite clearly, exactly as written.
[I shrunk & saved a low-quality image for data-saving; other than that it's untouched. It's a dark scene.]

enter image description here

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  • The expressions "Facing forward" or "Moving forward" make a lot of sense, and would explain a ship's position or direction but "the forward railing" is vanishingly rare. The number of Google hits is about 133. I've listened to the excerpt and "forward" is barely comprehensible, it sounds more like "fore" but it's so mumbled it's difficult to know for sure.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Jul 7, 2023 at 15:39
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    @Mari-LouA - They're on a ship [of sorts]. The official subs say forward, the whole speech is exactly as quoted. [I always check if I have access to movie dialog, in case it's a mondegreen.] Plus many of the characters have a military background, & I'm pretty sure air forces also use forward & aft. I'm not sure what other type of forward you can really have on a ship. Any other meaning would be forward of…what? The way the speaker is facing right now? You don't really have to find other specific uses of that exact phrase for it to be the only viable definition under the circumstances. Commented Jul 7, 2023 at 16:34
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    @Mari-LouA - I'm really not sure what point you're trying to make. We've established what the line is. I watched the official release, with the subs on. I'm not sure what more I could do to confirm that's what the dialog is. We've Sherlocked the potential meanings & arrived at the probable. If you think there's another probable but not impossible meaning, then go ahead & post an alternative answer. Commented Jul 7, 2023 at 16:46
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    @MarkMorganLloyd - I have no clue what you're trying to tell me. I understand each & every word, just not in that particular order. [With thanks to Eric Morecambe;) Commented Jul 7, 2023 at 18:25
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    He just says, "They're at the forward railing." It's clear enough to me, with or without the subs. He doesn't say 'fore' or 'forrud', he says 'forward', just as written. Commented Jul 8, 2023 at 9:37

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