It looks like Avatar is going to get the Academy Award for best picture, so I’m glad I saw it, since otherwise I’d have to waste future hours seeing it, wondering what all the hype was about.
Yesterday someone told me she loved it: the many “layers of messages,” the beautiful special effects, the feeling she was flying.
I told her I thought the messages were pretty simplistic, and the effects looked fake, and I never felt like I was flying. I’m sure I sounded obnoxious, like those people who pontificate their opinions with the conviction that they’re absolutely right. I’m not usually like this, so I’ve been trying to figure out why I’m so anti-Avatar.
I think it’s that the movie is pretending to be something it’s not. It seems to be about the bad guys (the one-dimensional warlike Americans who destroyed their own planet and now want to exploit creatures on another planet) against the good guys (the spiritual blue nature-loving (and just as one-dimensional) creatures on Pandora). But what happens? War. Guns and explosions and bulldozers and death. The movie panders to young men who go to movies to see blood, while affecting the values of a more “spiritual” audience.
Thesis and anti-thesis clash; everything blows up. And the special effects, like all the distractions of our materialistic culture, blind us from seeing that nobody wins.