Avatar – So Much More than Eye Candy


avatarThe most anticipated movie of the year came out last weekend.  My man and I went to see it in 3D – of course.  Much ado has been made about the stunning visuals of Avatar.  New technology which I don’t understand is being touted.  And, yes, the images are outstanding!  The trailers haven’t even begun to show the intricacies of the Pandoran world created by James Cameron and his team.  The way the hair falls.  The neon lit evenings.  The night sky and horizon unlike anything we’d see on earth.  It is breathtaking.  This Avatar trailer focuses more on the visuals than the others I’ve seen but still falls far short of what you will experience in the theatre.

Critics and film makers all agree that the spectacle of Avatar is unparalleled.

What sometimes gets lost when a movie is steeped in spectacle is the story.  How many action or effects laden movies have you seen that you can’t even remember anything about the characters or story?  All you can say is “wow, what a ride!”  In retrospect, though, it leaves you rather empty.

Avatar, thankfully, is not in that category.  Yes, the spectacle will make your mouth drop.  You may start to get a bit of a belly ache from all the eye candy.  In the end, movies are about telling a story and Avatar certainly rises to that expectation.  It is, in essence, a fable.   A cautionary tale about humanity and our tendency to take what we want rather than to understand those we are taking from.  It’s very much a modern, futuristic retelling of the destruction of the North American natives.

There are some goofy terms, as to be expected in a fable.  The magic ore the powers that be want from the planet Pandora is called “Unobtainium”.   (Groan)  The Navi of Pandora speak and gesture very much like Natives have been stereotypically portrayed in movies for decades.

The story is generally predictable.  Science and military clash.  The one sent to infiltrate falls in love with the people (think Dances with Wolves in space).  The underdog wins over the bad guy in spectacular fashion.  However, even a predictable story is all about the telling and Avatar tells it beautifully.

The movie took me back to last week’s blog about the power of love vs. the love of power.  Our marine hero Jake  played by Sam Worthington, when given the opportunity to actually live with the people he has come to manipulate realizes how beautiful they are.  He comes to respect their way of life and becomes one of them.  In the end, he helps them defeat the seemingly undefeatable – going against gun ships with bows and arrows.

I was once again reminded how impotent force is in the long run.  The bullies will inevitably make headway in the short run.  Love and understanding will win in the long run.  Of course in the movies the love and understanding fights fire with fire so there is an incredible confrontation at the climax of the movie.  In real life, it takes longer and is much less dramatic to overcome the big powerful machine.  And yet, it’s still worth it.

Whether with flying and crawling creatures and all the clans coming together for a big fight or people going out to give out free hugs, offering food to a homeless man or comforting a child who’s crying – the fight is worth fighting.  The fight for love and understanding must be fought.

Are you part of the love army?

Be Beautiful, Be YOU and spread your love to all in your own unique way.

Hugs and Happy Holidays,