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mintinfo on Avatar

Updated on February 5, 2010

My take on Avatar

The critically acclaimed movie Avatar has recently become the #1 grossing movie of all time. It also continues to ride a tidal wave of popularity worldwide. As it cleans up at the box office it is also expected to clean up at this years Academy Awards where it is nominated in nine categories including best picture, a title it is most likely to win. I often have a different take on allot of things in popular culture so I usually avoid the hype and sensationalism generated to promote most things. I don’t even understand how some people line up for hours to be the first to buy such things as the new I-Pad or any other new product. I held off on seeing Avatar when it first came out for just that reason then in early January I decided to give it a go. To my surprise I wasn’t able to get a ticket the first time I went to the theater as it was sold out by the time I arrived. A few days later I tried a little earlier with success. After seeing it I was quite impressed as it definitely lived up to the hype.

Personally I thought it was a visually outstanding film. It definitely ups the notch in Hollywood in terms of cinematography. It seems the more movies are able to fool people’s senses and pull our consciousness into an idealistic imaginary world it’s the more successful they will be. When I think of most of the top grossing movies of all time the same formula comes to mind. Pirates of the Caribbean, Lord of the rings, and even Titanic to a certain extent all were great because of how new advancements in technology has enabled Hollywood to bridge the gap between reality and computer animation. Gone are the days when you could see the strings holding up objects in space or miniature models that you have to film in slow motion to give the illusion of gravity. It should take home a few Oscars.

The main theme of the movie was your basic (man against …you name it) In this case it was primarily man against man, or moral man against immoral man and the ethics of destroying a foreign organism for profit and personal gain. The underlying theme however was one of man against nature with nature coming to life and kicking but in the end. If our own Mother Nature has such a power I think she would of used it long ago from the way we abuse her. Also, when the movie first opened I heard and read some blogs on how the movie had a racist theme but I personally didn’t see it. What some people might classify as racism is just basic human nature. Humans take advantage of each other all the time based on separations in culture, class, and creed. In Avatar the humans attempted to take advantage of the indigenous people (Navi) because they felt that they could based on a higher technological advantage. In the end the natives turned out to be more morally and spiritually advanced.

The success of Avatar has not come without its disadvantages however. Recently I have been hearing about a disturbing trend among some Avatar fans. It seems a growing number of them have become obsessed with the movie so much that they are experiencing Avatar withdrawal syndrome. It is described as a psychological obsession with the imaginary world of Pandora and the look and lifestyle of the Navi people. These people are engaging in obsessions like going to see the movie over and over again and even trying to learn the Navi language. In extreme cases some people wish that they were Navi themselves and existed in that world. On one site a guy wrote this troubling post.

“When I woke up this morning after watching 'Avatar' for the first time yesterday, the world seemed grey. It just seems so meaningless. I still don't really see any reason to keep doing things at all. I live in a dying world.”

It is a condition that is not exclusive to this particular movie but to any movie that portrays a lifestyle free from the mundane rituals of everyday life. Many people with low self esteem tend to latch onto fantasies to temporarily escape their sad realities. The director of the movie James Cameron even hired a linguist to create an alien language to add to the realness of the movie. I think he expected this kind of fanaticism as with other phenomena like Star Trek and Star Wars. Let’s hope these people do not take to committing suicide because they are unhappy with their own lives.

If you haven’t seen Avatar and you don’t mind a little sci-fi escapism I would definitely recommend that you do.


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    • Beata Stasak profile image

      Beata Stasak 8 years ago from Western Australia

      what a wonderful insightful comment on Avatar, in spite of its beatiful, creative and colourful high tech images and even the more meaningful content it is still Hollywood and we have to treat it this way. Just like pop culture, even the most meaningful Hollywood movie, its main aim is to 'take you away' from your everyday grey existence and for a prize of a movie ticket takes to 'some more excited place'. If people start to put too much importance to any piece of entertainment it is dangerous, because we young people here and now helping to create better world for us all not to dream about a planet from a movie. The movie director I think had a good intention to point on the important issues of our existence - polution, racism, aggression, invasion...however people will not change, they will take from movie just what they want, they will paint themselves blue now and would try to learn how to do better movie effects...

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