Avatar; a futuristic take on the story of Pocahontas, set in 2154 in the breathtaking world of Pandora, where plants and animals alike are joined by a bio-botanical neural network spanning across the entire planet but all leading to Ewya, their mother and God. At first glance, although beautifully crafted by the wonders of modern technology, this film appears to be shallow – a mere upgrade of a well known story where love conquers all. However, after watching it for a second time, other themes started to push their way to the surface, and I began to realise that perhaps this film does have some depth (other than the 3D effects).
I find it hard to believe that anyone who watches this film will come out feeling disappointed that the Human invaders, led by Colonel Miles Quaritch (Steven Lang), did not win in their battle for Unobtaniun; a source of money and power. In fact, the film challenges the very structure of Human society. It is hard not to notice how at the start of the film, the Na’vi (natives) are referred to as ‘Aliens’, but at the end it is the Humans who receive this title. As it is the Na’vi’s home, surely this should have been true from the beginning, but of course, Human nature and ego-centricity led them to believe that they were the superior race – all others should learn their language, their ways and comply with their unquestionably correct rules. Sound familiar?
Which leads me to the ever relevant and controversial theme of Region, which is just as prominent in 2154 Pandoran society as it is today, on Earth. The only difference is that an entire world believes in one God, Eywa, who ‘maintains the balance of all life’ on the planet. In this way the people of Pandora are more united than those on Earth, and are able to come together to fight a common enemy in defence of their God. Can’t exactly see that happening today, not now that religion serves as a weapon rather than a defence; a motivation rather than a deterrent.
Ok, so maybe I’m reading too much into this film, but I really did believe that the Director was trying to convey some sort of moral, or a warning at the very least – fighting almost destroyed Pandora and everything they believed in just like its currently destroying parts of Earth. Pandora is a world of freedom and flight, an almost brain like structure where birds dress like dragons, mountains float on air, trees act as speakers for their ancestors and everything is connected so perfectly in balance – who wouldn’t want to live there! (Well, the blue skin with fluorescent freckles may put some people off I’ll admit.)
Overall, Avatar is an amazing film in terms of graphics, which almost goes without saying, but also in terms of depth and moral; things you rarely find in films these days.
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