Avatar – a movie with a green message (Movie Review)
This film is Science Fiction with a difference. The aliens are not evil, but perhaps the human are. Humans being evil is not an uncommon theme as there are war films which veer towards this idea. But Avatar tackles other complex issues as well. It talks of the Balance of Life. That is why this film moved me, very deeply. The movie is appropriate in these times. It is time that we humans thought about the Balance of Life.
I do not want to talk of the spectacular technology (CGI – Computer Generated Imagery) employed in this film because that is what people are mostly talking about. In fact when we went to buy the tickets we found that people were desperate to see this film in 3D. When the tickets were not available for 3D they were turning back. “What’s the use of seeing it without 3D?” they asked each other. We didn’t see it in 3D because no tickets for the 3D version were available. We saw it on a normal screen and well, it was fine. True, the jungle scenes, the spectacular animation of the aliens, the animals, and the action scenes would have made it very exciting to watch on 3D…but the movie is more than that.
What moved me was the meaning behind the movie and the story. The movie takes place on the planet Pandora, but as I was watching the film I was transported to a time before humans arrived on Earth. This is how our Earth must have been like. Lush jungle, all kinds of gigantic animals, and the Life in tune with Nature. Sure, there were humanoids at Pandora, but they worshipped Nature. The director, James Cameron, wanted to try and communicate to the audience that this was okay, that this was beautiful, that this was natural. He made the good characters say that is not a blind meaningless pagan thing, this worshipping of nature, because the trees and the plants and the animals are actually connected, that there is some sort of magic in the Sacred Tree. The bad guys in the film sneer at the “pagan” nonsense and it is their greed which blinds them to the truth.
The director tries to get across the truth that the Networking of Nature is a good thing, that it really does exist even though not in the way he showed it in the movie. Movies are always larger than life, always for effect. The reality is that all living things are dependent on each other. That is the message. One thing goes out of balance and the balance of nature shifts and leads to a slow destruction of the Earth. That is what we are seeing today on our precious Earth.
Early humans were wise. In the Indian subcontinent they used their love of nature to build one of the world’s greatest religions. Hinduism worships nature and animals. You see, unless you worship, you destroy. Because of greed. That is the nature of man. I have written about this (Why weren’t large mammals exterminated in India like they were in many parts of the world?) A way to protect Nature and Life other than human is to build a halo around it. This stops the greedy from getting at it. The Bishnois of India do exactly that. They worship Nature and Animals. Anyone meddling with it becomes Evil to them.
As I watched the movie I didn’t think it was Pandora, a planet six years away from the earth, in another galaxy. I thought about it as Earth. I didn’t think that the aliens were aliens. I thought of them as humans. I didn’t think the humans were human. I thought of them as monsters and aliens.
Photo credits: The first is a movie poster and the second is from 3news.co.nz