James Cameron has done it again. “Avatar” has greatly impressed a very large audience. Film critics as well as the typical moviegoers have given it an outstanding rating. The volume of movie tickets sold show the enthusiasm of the typical moviegoers to watch it. Other people like me who don’t usually watch movies also end up seeing it. Several people are watching it multiple times probably impressed by the 3d version in several moviehouses.
Although the film’s genre is science fiction, a broad spectrum of people are watching it too. The film has an anti-war theme. The humans even used the phrases, “shock and awe” and “fight terror with terror”. The film could even be considered environmentalist. This is not a typical action film like James Cameron’s “Terminator” that appeals to your masculinity, but also a highly sensitive film that appeals to your feminine side with its angles of environmentalism and yes, spirituality.
Although some reviews have stated that some of the lines in the movie have been seen elsewhere, there are other angles which are quite new to me. In this film, the aliens are not exactly the enemy. The aliens are not the conquerors, but instead the ones to be conquered. The aliens though technically inferior, have a spirituality which is seemingly more evolved than that of humans.
Although the CGI (computer generated imagery) and military hardware overwhelmed me on the onset, I was shocked to find the film with highly spiritual overtones.
This started as early as the first conversation between Jake Sully and Neytiri, a female Navi. After Neytiri rescues Jake from possible death due to his encounter with the animals, Neytiri raises her voice and says that he is “like a baby”. Funny, that Neytiri uses the word “baby”. Neytiri feels that Jake is not killing the animals out of malice or for food. Some animals are territorial and Jake being in the wrong place at the wrong time has became a victim. Being a baby would roughly be synonymous with being “ignorant”. Jake is also ignorant of the idea of living in harmony with nature. Neytiri assumes that Jake believes in control and not in harmony with the animals. Later in the film, this concept of “harmony with nature” will be one of the underlying themes of the movie which I find so beautiful. While highly capitalistic countries have underlying policies such as conquer or be conquered, this film promotes oneness not only with other tribes or god, but also with animals and plants.