An Avatar of Sensibilities

In the beginning, there was praise. This was prior to its date of release. Based on trailers and all that was available in various forms of media. Many around me were excited and I often wondered what it was about. I saw the trailer, thought must be interesting but also pre-judged the movie as another ‘special effects extravaganza’ with not much else to offer.

Then came the release. Everywhere you looked, James Cameron’s Avatar ruled. Whether it was the newspapers, television, or the senseless pseudo-intellectual talk at workplace – Avatar was the point in contention. Surprisingly, everyone had an opinion. Amusingly though, most of these were negative. The only positive response I heard was from those who were truly impressed by the special effects and were ready to let go the rest.

Initially I avoided Avatar. I am not a sucker for popular stuff and often dismiss them as nonsensical. The pre-release hoopla had put me off. I am not a sucker for science-fiction either, and therefore, I thought I could let go Avatar. However, three months and countless number of bad reviews later, I decided to watch it for myself yesterday.

There is no point debating that the plot of Avatar is neither unique nor awe-inspiring. If we can let that be, I can hardly find any faults with the movie. There is almost a consensus that the special effects are dazzling and have succeeded in portraying, to the awe of audience around the world, a unique wondrous and likable forests of Pandora.

The essence of Avatar, however, lies in symbolism. The genius of the movie and its maker is that despite some of the best use of metaphors, the movie was not complex to understand and was an entertainer throughout. Despite this, if people did not find it to be anything except special effects, I guess something is wrong somewhere.

In my opinion, the movie is pretty obvious about what it portrays. The inability of human beings to look beyond material profits and the total lack of sensitivity towards its own environs will eventually lead to total destruction. And till the last day, human beings won’t change their opinions and keep blaming everything except the way they chose to establish their societies as the reason for this destruction.

The dislike of Avatar by most of these human beings is therefore not surprising. The symbolism that was staring them in the face was unlikable and to avoid it, they developed a distaste towards it. This is not the first time, it happens very often in the way things go around in our species. Most of the times, the funny part is, these people do not know that their dislike is a part of psychological defence mechanism of their prejudices.

In a mad rush towards destruction and the propaganda to justify it, it was good to see an ‘avatar’ of sensibilities.

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12 responses to “An Avatar of Sensibilities

  1. I haven’t seen the movie, but my son said pretty much the same thing you did.

  2. booksandmusings

    You beat me to it. I was planning to write a review myself. You have probably said everything I intended to say, only you’ve said it better. Somehow, I am intrigued by the symbolism in the movie. There are two things to the movie. At on level, it reinforces the much debated question of whether intelligent beings exist in another part of the universe. The other question is of all beings (in the case of the movie) being biologically linked to each and transfer of energy between beings. Transformation of life from form of a being to another. I think it is something to think about. If anything it is about, its definitely not just about special effects. I couldn’t agree with you more.

  3. I saw it just as a movie and couldn’t understand the hype behind it! Yes the special effects were awesome but as u said there was nothing new about the plot. But yes I agree with you, when you talk about symbolism the movie takes your breath away!

  4. I still haven’t actually seen Avatar even though it’s now on DVD. I wanted to see it in the theatres because of all the hype, even in the writing communities, which was a suprise, but I can’t go out much with my toddler.:)

    I really can’t wait to see it but it’ll have to be there for rent to see. Then I can see what the hype is all about myself.

  5. Are you Rahul from Bombay/

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  9. This movie is awesome!! i saw it several times. I got a book on this from http://www.naaptol.com/

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