My review of Avatar:
Nit-picky stuff – Fuck you assholes in the upper balcony for not moving and opening up two seats. Front row with CGI is migraine inducing, I was tempted to walk up there to puke. I also wasn’t thrilled with the fact that I missed at least 30 minutes of the movie, visually, because I had to rest my eyes to keep from puking.
The rest of it – I will not jump on the FernGully meets Dances with Wolves crowd. Neither of those movies comes even close to the various interpretations you can walk away with, from this movie. FernGully was all about saving the rainforests and the eco-systems. That was truly a hippy movie about the evils of Western civilization, with the humour of Robin Williams to indoctrinate the kids. Dances with Wolves…well, it was Kevin Costner, that’s about all I can say to it, outside of the concept that the White Man does not have all the answers, and trying to force something down the throats of people who have a system that works perfectly well, is not the brightest idea (this would be why Brazil has various laws protecting the indigenous tribes of the Amazon, they get it).
Instead, I’m going to say that James Cameron finally figured out how to refine his story and get it right. It’s about stepping outside of one’s perspectives, to view things with a new set of eyes – or “an empty cup”. It’s about understanding that one tradition works in a certain place and a certain time, and forcing yours upon someone else, without their consent is not a real means to an end. That said, you bring in the warrior aspect and the concept of fighting and hunting as needed – this includes in order to get what you want, when all other means of seeking that end have been exhausted. Call it a thesis on Teddy Roosevelt’s concept of conservation, as it touches mostly upon taking what’s needed, as its needed and not extending yourself into the realm of a useless surplus – a lesson I’ve found us ‘Westerners’ could seriously use.
From the perspective of the Na’vi, it’s the encroachment upon their way of life, which developed and evolved from their natural habitat. Finding a means to live within their surroundings with minimal issue and “drama” by working within the environment and not working against it, as a means to control it vs being controlled by. A little give/take/sacrifice in order to get what is needed, and this is not a hippy/pagan concept – an idea that Grace’s character was trying to elaborate, at one point. It’s a concept that exists in all theological teachings, except maybe the gluttonous “me” theology, where it’s take what you want, when you want it at all costs.
To go deeper, consider it the internal individual’s struggle between materialistic desires, and spiritual needs, and how to balance the two of them.
So consider those my half-baked thoughts right now, as there are too many layers to really write about all of them (could easily make the fodder given into a thesis paper). Emotive thoughts, I cried. Not because of the overwhelming migraine that’s going to hit tonight because of the aforementioned assholes, but because of the full story-line. It touched upon everything that I believe in, including the “man plans, the gods laugh” concept. The concept of the warrior/mercenary and the various definitions of both. Definitely going to see it again, so I can see what I missed. Will probably snag it on DVD, as well as the soundtrack. For those who have ever been curious as to my personal spiritual beliefs, they’re now on screen for ya.