Analysis/Review of the Avatar Movie

The other day my wife and I went to see the 3d version of movie Avatar. Actually, we did not know it was 3d when we bought the tickets until the guy that took the tickets handed us the 3d glasses.

The graphics in the 3d version of this movie are spectacular. However, the plot is flat & characters are sort of one dimensional and cliche.

**************SPOILER ALERT**************

The basic plot is that a crippled guy goes in to weird alien forest world with his dead twin brother’s avatar with the goal of getting the aliens to leave so that his superiors can drill up the area where the aliens reside. While there, he meets an alien girl and falls in love with her, learns the ways of her people, decides that its best to help the aliens instead of his superiors, and ultimately ends up dead, but he lives on in the form of his avatar because the aliens use a weird “tree of life” to move his soul from his human body in to his alien body. There’s a few plot twists, but that’s the main storyline. It’s a fairly typical sort of Romeo and Juliet in a sci-fi setting almost. The only real difference is that Juliet doesn’t really die – her big tree house just gets crushed, and Romeo doesn’t die – he just becomes an alien.

One of the main themes in the movie is the idea that the entire planet and the Avatar Race are tied to one another with electrical pulses. I think in one scene they even say that there’s “more connections” between the environment and the people than there are neural pathways in the human brain. There is a blatent new age “Gaia” type of “green” theme to all of it… although they don’t call it Gaia – They call their earth goddess diety on this strange world Eawa, or something similar sounding to that…

There might be a possibility that Ehwa is really something similar to Yahweh spelled backwards, and that’s done to represent the “Great Goddess” idea vs the old Human Christian and Western ideas of conquest and spreading our ways to others all over the world that has lead us on Earth to where we are today with a world filled with Green House Gas, etc…?!?… especially with the “tree of life” being connected to the entire world idea – which is sort of similar to a few New Age and old Kabbalah sort of ideas… Of course that might be going way too deep in to the metaphors and looking at symbols and stuff, lol.. Maybe they just like the Ewoks from Star Wars and wanted to make a diety that sounded like that sort of sound. πŸ˜‰

In one of the longest sililoquies in the movie, the main character says something like “They (Humans from Earth) have killed their planet” implying that humans destroyed earth and now they are trying to destroy this planet with their techological ways, drilling up the earth, etc.

There’s an ongoing techonolgy vs native primitive way of life struggle throughout the entire movie as well as a lot of other ideas and themes. The basic underlying idea I got about it is that the movie is not really about aliens at all – it’s about us in the “Civilized Western World” and how we keep kicking natives out of their natural settings – and keep destroying our entire world in the process… in Africa, in Central America, in Australia… even here in the US since we kicked the original indidan population out of the places there had come to call home.

Riding a Dragon type of creature as a sign of “coming of age” is one of the subplots in the story, as are few various ideas about what is real, and a few other things, but I don’t want to give away the whole story and completely ruin the movie for you (even though I may already have with the two paragraphs above)… I could probably go on and on about a lot of symbols, metaphors, and the technological issues regarding how the movie was made, but I’ll save some that for another day when I have more time to post…

However… there is one topic I will discuss along these lines…

There’s that whole side issue about cloning going on in the movie that could lead to discussions about if/why a clone would not have an identity and soul of it’s own instead of just being a humanoid robot ready to take commands from whoever it was cloned from – but that’s not really the main part of the story… Actually that little idea sort of goes against the whole basis of the plot and themes in the movie since the Avatars are really clones created with technology and therefore represent everything un-natural, and also represents a sort of invasion on the soul of the being that is the Avatar… However that whole idea is a non-issue because it’s just “assumed” that the Avatar has no self identity in the world presented in the movie… (which is part of the reason why I think Ewa is to evoke a sort of new age, magical, mystical, occult, kabbala type of idea and theme in the movie – as the “Avatars” are really somewhat similar to the old idea of a Golem – a souless body that’s used by spellcasters, etc… except instead of using magic, they use the “technology” of cloning and the little coffin like boxes that the humans that are using the avatars have to go in to make the Gollum-like Avatars become alive… ok… all you Baptists and other religious nuts out there, are you ready to ban this movie like you banned Harry Potter and Mickey Mouse, lol… You know, doing that just brings more media attention to movies like this and causes more people to watch them since everyone wants to see for themselves what all the controversy is about! Actually, you could turn all the symbols around and make the resuruction of the Avatar in to a resuruction of the Body after death idea since it’s sort of a “going back to an Eden-like Heaven” to live with the other alien angel like creatures on that strange primitive world… πŸ™‚ πŸ˜‰ )

Overall, I give the movie about a 7 out of 10 rating because the plot is pretty predictable and almost all of the characters other than the main two are very flat and one dimensional psychologically, and even they are fairly predictable most of the time. It was nice to see a “save our earth by going green and supporting primitive cultures in the rainforests” type of message in a movie like this, but the repitition of that idea over and over and over goes a little overboard in my opinion…

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