Why the Na’vi have blue skin and was Jake a traitor: an analysis of the film “Avatar”
Genre: Science Fiction, Adventure, Action, Drama
Year of production: 2009
Director: James Cameron
Cast: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez, Giovanni Ribisi, Joel David Moore
Unrealistically beautiful, deep film “Avatar» (Avatar) was released in 2009 and immediately became a cult. This colorful tale, intertwined with scientific facts, was a breakthrough, elevating the already famous director James Cameron to the pinnacle of fame.
The essence of the film “Avatar” is that people and nature are inextricably linked. The consumer attitude to the planet, when a person takes resources and gives nothing in return, leads to a global catastrophe. The point is that when talking about Pandora, Cameron was talking about the Earth.
Background to the creation of “Avatar”
The director admitted that the idea to make such a film came to him back in the 80s. The description of Pandora arose in his head and every year became more and more clear outlines. But the master understood that technically he would not be able to show all this the way he would like. And he did not agree to half measures. The director dreamed that this movie would blow the mind of the viewer, so that they would literally be mentally transported to this planet, feel the connection with it. But in those years there were no such opportunities in the cinema, the script was waiting in the wings.
Frame from the film.
And so, when Star Wars died down around the world, The Lord of the Rings came out, Cameron realized it was time. And disappeared from the radar of fans for 5 years. Fans wondered where the great master of cinema had gone. And he assembled a team and worked on the creation of Avatar. Cameron brought cinema to a new level, showed that there is nothing impossible in the world for someone who burns with his idea, who is true to himself to the end.
What is the movie about
The film takes the viewer to a fantastic, mysterious world – to the planet Pandora. Everything in it is beautiful – landscapes filled with colors, unprecedented animals and plants, smells and sounds – but people cannot live on it. The planet is inhabited by blue giants, the Na’vi people invented by Cameron. They live in harmony with nature, take care of the planet and each other, revere the mother goddess Eywa and do not tolerate outsiders on their lands.
And so the Na’vi would have lived in their world, untouched by civilization, if not for people. It turns out that the bowels of the planet hide huge deposits of unobtanium – a valuable mineral that costs twenty million per kilogram on Earth. For the sake of these “pebbles”, the “avatar” project was launched, during which scientists created biorobots – clones of the inhabitants of Pandora.
Frame from the film.
For people, the meaning of this whole operation is to drive away the natives and start quietly extracting a valuable mineral. Cameron showed the confrontation between two civilizations, each of which has its own values. The Na’vi people are united with nature, connected with every tree and animal, caring for their world. Earthly people have only enrichment without thinking about the future. The director wanted to show how low we would all fall if we thought of our land only as a source of resources.
Brief summary of the film. A detachment of scientists and soldiers is sent to Pandora. The former are working on the “avatar” project, trying to find a common language with the local Na’vi people. The latter are ready at any moment to uncover their weapons in order to drive away the natives by force and release the unobtanium deposit for mining.
The scientists, led by Dr. Grace Augustine, have little time to persuade the Na’vi to leave their home in a good way. To do this, they invite Jake Sully, who is destined to become the main protector of Pandora and its inhabitants.
Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver), Jake Sully (Sam Worthington), Trudy (Michelle Rodriguez) and Norm Spellman (Joel David Moore) are a team of scientists. Frame from the film.
Jake is a Marine, far from science. But his dead twin brother was a scientist involved in the Avatar Project. A biorobot has already been created for him, and since the brothers have the same nervous systems, Jake is an excellent backup option for scientists.
He is a wheelchair user, but that doesn’t matter, because the avatars are controlled by the power of brain waves, mentally, from a distance. As soon as you lie down in a special module, attach the sensors to your body and close your eyes, you are immediately transferred to the body of your three-meter blue clone.
Cameron uses symbolism here as well. Why is the main character disabled, is it by chance? Not at all! The explanation is simple: the author wisely decided to show that the human body is just a shell. It can be “broken”, twisted, but the main thing is what is laid inside – a strong spirit, a brave heart.
Jake is initially skeptical about his role, but then, once in the wonderful world of Pandora, he changes his attitude to the environment. He is imbued with the ideology of the Na’vi and becomes their defense against people obsessed with the thirst for money.
In the body of his avatar, Jake can walk and even run again. His emotions are filmed so realistically that the viewer is also imbued with this joy, the endless happiness of a person who has spent many years in a wheelchair.
Once in the forests of Pandora, he loses his group of scientists and is left alone. There are insidious creatures around, ready to devour him at any moment. It looks like the guy is finished. And then a girl from a local tribe, Neytiri, comes to his aid. Seeing Ava’s special sign of the deity, she realizes that Jake is the chosen one. She has to teach him all the tricks of life on Pandora.
Neytiri and Jake, still from the film.
Jake meets the tribal leader, Eitukan, and their spiritual leader, Mo’at, Neytiri’s parents. He begins to learn to distinguish the smells and sounds of this planet, hunts, seek food for himself. Along the way, he comprehends the philosophy of this place, the creatures that inhabit it. Neytiri tells him a lot about the connection between all Na’vi, nature and spirits. Gradually, the hero is imbued with all this and understands the hidden meaning of everything that he sees around. He also does not want people to drive the locals out of here, he decides to stand up for them.
But people are not going to give up. They have no choice in their own way. On Earth, by 2154, the reserves of resources have been exhausted, they have “gutted” their planet to the ground. Now, without the unobtanium, they also cannot survive. The soldiers, led by Colonel Miles Quaritch, are determined to fight for a valuable resource to the last. They see in the locals only blue “beasts” without mind and feelings, and they think that it will not be difficult to cope with them. But Jake puts their plans in jeopardy.
An earthling understands better than anyone that one tribe, armed only with bows and arrows, will not stand against people and their army. Then he gathers all the peoples of Pandora, all the tribes from its different ends, uniting them in the fight against the invaders. Jake becomes their leader, leader. He understands that there is no way back, only a great battle lies ahead. And it happens at the end of the movie.
James Cameron himself called the battle, placed at the end of the picture, “something unimaginable.” It took over 100 hours for the special effects creators to digitize each frame! The result was an unprecedented spectacle, powerful, incredible in terms of the abundance of effects and computer graphics.
By creating such a powerful ending to the film, the author tried to evoke equally strong emotions in the viewer. The battle of the Na’vi with people is the struggle of the spiritual with the material. The ending is generally predictable – good triumphs over evil, but not everything is so simple. The Na’vi people defended their right to live in an untouched, primordial world, but the hostile forces from the outside did not disappear anywhere. It may still continue.
The meaning of the film
The main meaning of “Avatar” is in the unity of man and nature, in how important this connection is for every living being. Cameron himself has repeatedly said that he wanted to draw the attention of the audience to the global problems of our planet. The author believed that people, having experienced adventures on Pandora, would pay attention to their own Earth. The point is that we must protect nature, and not treat it consumeristically, destroying its resources.
Cameron also talks about imperialism, colonization and wars, about the capture of some states by others, about a ruthless attitude towards indigenous peoples, planting their own morality, values and culture. This film can be considered anti-militarist.
Tree of Souls, Ava. Frame from the film.
Another idea of the film: a person is determined by his spirit, inner strength. He may be weak physically, but strong morally, and this is much more important. After all, even to Jake’s question to Neytiri: “Why did you save me?” she replied, “You have a strong heart. No fear”. Only such a hero is able to lead and win even in the most unequal battle.
Jake essentially betrays his army and goes over to the side of the “enemy”. But he does this because he realizes that the cause of his associates is not a just cause. While protecting the Na’vi, he remains true to his principles.
What does the word “avatar” mean? An avatar is a bodily embodiment of a god in Hinduism. Its meaning in the film is in the ability of people to place a person’s consciousness in a biological body. Cameron has repeatedly said that he connects the Na’vi heroes with the ideas of Hinduism. Even the color of their skin is not accidental. According to Hindu sacred texts, the ancient deities (for example, Vishnu) looked like this. The director admitted that he likes this explanation “conceptually”.
In essence, the struggle between people and the Na’vi is a struggle between the technocratic West and the spiritual East. What does the Eywa tree symbolize? This is the Tree of Souls, Pandora’s “power point”. The ancient willow is over 3,000 years old and is extremely important to the Na’vi people. Next to her, one feels the deepest connection with the deity Eywa. The root system of the Tree of Souls is a neural network connected to all the trees on the planet. It stores information about all the inhabitants of Pandora, it has the strongest energy. If you pray under it, then Ava can even hear the request and fulfill it. Why is the planet called Pandora? Pandora is the name of the first woman in Greek mythology. One of the moons of Saturn bears the same name. The planet outwardly resembles the Earth, but its heavenly appearance is deceptive. The atmosphere is dense and unsuitable for human life due to oversaturation with carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide.
Pandora’s plants in Avatar contain poisons, and the animals are aggressive and extremely dangerous. But the director managed to show the planet from its best side, captivating the viewer with its beauties. The result was an amazing fairy tale with a deep meaning that struck the imagination of millions of people.