What is the meaning of the cult film Avatar? Film was released in theaters in 2009 and was the highest grossing film in the world until 2019. The spectators who were present at the premiere were greatly impressed by the viewing, the effect of which was greatly enhanced by the 3D quality. Each spectator was surrounded by the charming nature of Pandora and its quaint inhabitants.
Once a great Marine Jake Sully, was confined to a wheelchair. However, the spirit of the soldier is not broken and continues to live in him. Jake is sent to the planet Pandora, where earthlings mine the rare mineral unobtanium, which can help the Earth out of the energy crisis. Quite unexpectedly, a paralyzed Marine becomes a messiah for the inhabitants of Pandora.
There are a lot of cornerstones in this film. The most obvious is the problem with the environment. The felling of Pandora’s trees found a connection to our real world when massive rainforest clearing took place in Tibet and the Amazon. Also, individual corporations are ready to move mountains for the sake of their enrichment, monopoly and profit. We treat our planet consumerly and it is not known what will happen in 2154, in which the actions of Avatar unfold. After all, robotics and flights to the moon once also seemed to us an original fiction, but now this is the real truth. The reunion with the help of tribal braids and six-toed flying horses leads to the idea that the director dreams of bringing such a spiritual connection with nature to our realities. In addition to the environmental message, Cameron admires the natives, who have something to teach our artificial world, and the planet Pandora, which fully functions as a single organism.
The storyline traces the division of the Avatar universe into two races – the Navi tribe and people. The human side seems to represent the technocracy of the Western world with all the passions it entails, while the Navi tribe represents the Eastern mindset that honors the tribal lifestyle, traditional medicine, collectivism, and a subtle sense of nature. It is not for nothing that the Navi tribe is depicted as anthropomorphic, so that it would be easier and more understandable for people to associate and compare themselves with them. After all, if the population of Pandora were slimy and stinking shapeless creatures, which also had the substance necessary for earthlings in their arsenal, then the meaning of the film would not have such depth, and the viewer would not empathize so much. We would simply compare the degree of superiority of “Avatar” and “Riddick”.
An interesting fact is that the main character of the film, Jake, was a former marine, which means he was full of strength, energy, but fate decreed that he ended up in a wheelchair. Is there still a meaning hidden here with a reference to the ecology of the planet? The moment when he was full of energy can be compared with the Earth, when natural resources were in abundance. And the moment when Jake moved into a wheelchair is comparable to the loss of natural resources, when experts are already calculating how many years the minerals will last for humanity. Cameron calls Pandora the prototype of our world, his fantasy of what our world could be like if we had not rolled it into asphalt and built numerous business centers. Jake’s choice in favor of Pandora is obvious, only there he can feel strong and powerful, healthy and loved again. Therefore, he quite easily goes over to the side of the natives of Pandora. And the viewer is not very outraged by such a betrayal.
The betrayal of an exemplary soldier, trained to serve and defend his country, is very verbose. Such an act makes one wonder if humanity is moving along the same path, fiercely fighting for the right to rule, possess and compete with each other. Is it right to destroy another world, fighting for high technologies, hoping for their benefit? It turns out that our centuries-old civilization practically did not budge and remained in the era of colonial wars. And faced with a new world, we will first of all begin to find out what benefits we can extract, and if they are worth it, then there will be conquest.
The life of the Navi tribe before the arrival of people on Pandora was similar to life in paradise. But after the intervention of the human race, everything changes radically. The greed of corporations for precious metals, the conflict of spirituality, racism, man-made impact on nature very soon destroy the whole idyll. So we are slowly but surely destroying our planet, and without hesitation we will destroy another. Some film critics have found similarities and symbolism in the cutting down of the Tree of Souls and the destruction of the Twin Towers. This episode in this vein was perceived by them as a terrorist act, where people act as terrorists.
Avatar touches upon the theme of imperialism and the relationship of man to indigenous peoples. James Cameron does not hide, but rather acknowledges this fact and refers to the fact that the history of the world is full of examples of how those in power, with military superiority and power, crush the weaker and unadapted to the conditions like a bulldozer. Benefit is the driving factor.
“Avatar” is a real masterpiece from James Cameron, where technical solutions do not detract from the artistic and semantic merits of the film.