The film Avatar (2009) caused a wave of accusations of plagiarism and set many different records , becoming one of the highest grossing in the history of cinema. The technological breakthrough made by James Cameron’s team does not detract from the artistic merit of the tape. She is often reproached for the primitiveness of the plot, but absolutely undeservedly.
What is an avatar?
Cameron, in love with the mythology of Hinduism, introduced the word “avatar” (in reality – “avatar”) into the title of the film and gave the aliens of the Na’vi tribe the appearance of blue-skinned creatures (such, for example, was Vishnu incarnated in the human form).
The word “avatara” is translated as “phenomenon.” His concept is far from the idea of the human incarnation of God in Christianity – the gods of Hinduism do not share the human nature of the avatara. The main function of avatars is the preservation of social and cosmic order. However, the hero of the film, disabled paratrooper Jake Sully, although he advocates the preservation of natural balance and order on the planet Pandora, completely loses his original essence, turning into his “avatar”.
While you were Sleeping
The colonization of planets is a troublesome business, especially if these planets are full of minerals, and the aborigines, be they even red-skinned like the Indians, even blue like the Na’vi, are not at all delighted with the visit of earthlings and the extraction of these minerals is impeded by all means. We must pay tribute to the company targeting the planet Pandora: it did not begin to exterminate everyone at once, but decided to study first. This is how the Avatar project arose with an interesting technology: while the researcher sleeps, his alien incarnation, a blue native with a tail, runs through the jungle. While the blue avatar sleeps, the earthling is awake.
Jake’s choice is logical. He prefers an alien reality with a wheelchair – the one where he is healthy and loved. Therefore, he easily goes over to the side of the aborigines, formally betraying his fellow earthlings.
The viewer is not outraged by this betrayal. Jungle battles, unprecedented flights on a tamed dragon, battle in the clouds – this is a magnificent unreal adventure, similar to a dream. The disabled Jake sleeps and sees himself healthy and strong. At first glance, he was lost not between two planets, but between sleep and reality.
Global problems: the end of paradise
The life of the Na’vi tribe before the arrival of the earthlings can be compared to life in the Garden of Eden. But the intervention of the human mind is rapidly destroying this primeval paradise. What’s the fault?
The conflict between modern technology and nature, racism, corporate greed, a crisis of spirituality. One of the manifestations of racism and imperialism is the aggression of the colonialists against indigenous peoples. Due to the visual similarity of the scene of the cutting of the Tree of Souls with the destruction of the Twin Towers, a parallel arises between the army of earthlings and the terrorists.
Another global issue highlighted by the film is environmental protection. The first analogy is the destruction of tropical forests, causing irreparable harm to nature for the profit of individual companies and corporations. What was the planet like before a man threw a plow and took up a sword? What have modern technologies brought to the world?
James Cameron made no secret of the fact that he made a film full of political and anti-militarist manifestos based on the invasions of Iraq, Vietnam and Afghanistan. Therefore, his tale of a lost paradise began to speak in the “rough language of a poster” and became a challenge not only to modern cinema technologies, but also to pressing social problems.
But if we put aside the loud discussion of global problems and return to the sleeping hero, hovering between being and a dream, then we will understand that besides the meaning of the collisions of worlds, minds and political systems, the film has another, very important one – about human self-identification, about how to figure it out – where are “his”, and where are the enemies.
Jake is not just an Earthling. He is a white American, a paratrooper, a military man. But his mental values coincide with the values not with people like him, but with creatures absolutely alien in physiology and psychology. On the “alien” side, he was faced not only with the opportunity to become a blue three-meter giant, but also with the opportunity to bring his personal concepts of good and evil into conformity with the public. His moral standards were consonant with the standards of savages who lived by earthly standards in the distant past.
The point is not that modern technology is to blame. The main problem is the false system of values that the environment dictates to a person. The desire for profit at any cost, incomprehensible to aliens, is just as incomprehensible and disgusting to Jake.
A verdict to humanity
The betrayal of Jake, an exemplary soldier and an honest American, raises the main question – whether humanity is on the right path and where the thirst for money will lead it. Is it possible to destroy an alien primitive world for the sake of terrestrial high technologies that promise man all the best? What can the modern world share with other worlds if the meeting takes place tomorrow?
It turns out that man has not changed in anything since the colonial wars – all centuries of civilization have been wasted. And if tomorrow we meet someone else’s mind, then first of all we will take an interest in what material benefits we can take out of this meeting.
The meaning of the film ending: the final choice
Earthlings leave, having suffered defeat. Jake remains forever on an alien planet, his consciousness by the forces of the clan is forever transferred to another body, to an avatar. Why is Pandora’s jungle a white paratrooper paradise? Because an alien fell in love with him? No. Because the rocks covered with forests and soaring in the sky are beautiful? No. Because his new tribe lives in harmony with nature? No.
Paradise is to live and fight on “your” side. Paradise is a calm conscience both in reality and in a dream. Paradise is knowing where the avatar will fall asleep and who will stand next to you when your hour of awakening comes.