About Avatar

May 18, 2010 at 2:48 pm (Cinema, Mary McQueary) (, , , )

To say that the movie Avatar is about an alien Jewish American Princess having a hissy fit is actually a fairly accurate assessment. But that wasn’t the only storyline it contained. It was as if the writers’ brainstorming session became the script.  “What if the Indians weren’t decimated by smallpox and they united to fight against us?” suggests one writer.  “I say we pit the military against the scientists”, insists another.  “Don’t forget to plant the plot of boy-gets-girl, boy-loses-girl, boy-gets-girl in there too, that’ll guarantee it to be a Academy Award nominee”.

That being said, you’d think this movie would be one I’d say pass on. But wait, underneath all the stereotypes and repetitious yawn provoking obvious storylines there truly were some thinking persons’ treasures.

To begin with, the alien planet’s animals are amalgams.  Is that part dinosaur, dragon, hummingbird, dragonfly? Thank goodness for that boring plot line, as your brain is suddenly found busily scanning the creatures, performing a type of IQ test, analyzing and identifying which part of the animal comes from which earth animal.

While your brain is busy analyzing creatures and/or creating its own chimeras and asking questions such as, “how many creatures do we have on Earth that are colorfully feathered?” and your inner child begins shouting, “I want to fly on the back of one of those too!” in slips a current events issue.  The hero of our movie has a spine injury and has lost the use of his legs. Note the subtle atrophy to them through the movie, so the question pops up, if medical technology exists to give a person back the ability to use their legs, should cost prevent them from getting such medical procedures?  While you mull over whether you support healthcare reform in slides a thorn to prick you about your internet usage.  

Today, more and more people are living two lives, one online and one IRL (in real life), and just as in the movie, one of our worlds goes limp and silent when the other is active. How IRL are we?  Have we become slaves to our overactive overfed imaginations? Is it possible to regain a relationship with our planet, to have it as our playground, our kitchen, our medicine cabinet, our protector, our home once again?  Or have we let cyberspace steal us away from our own place and kind? In Avatar choices are made, there is no playing for both teams.  This is this lesson I think merited spending $100 million to make and hopefully will be a couple hours of joyful movie viewing for you.

– Mary McQueary

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