Merriam Webster defines “avatar” in several different ways. But I believe in the context of this movie, it means:
a variant phrase or version of a continuing basic entity
Great. The boyfriend wants to drag me to a 2/12 hr. long movie. Sit through it with 3D glasses on and not complain. But I thought,
OK; at least capitalism is not dead yet. Cameron (James) sunk $237M into this blockbuster so he’s thumbing his nose at O and stimulating the economy.
I believe I was wrong. Cameron meant this movie, for sure as entertainment; but I think he was also using this as an opportunity to make a “statement.”
The best way I can describe this film is Star Wars, Apocalypse Now, Dances with Wolves, and 300 all rolled into one; but with the incredible effect of 3D.
For those who haven’t seen the film the basic premise is this: a paraplegic marine transfers to an alien planet where there is a “substance” that is necessary to the survival of the native planet (oil, maybe?). Thrown into the mix is an indigenous hostile native population (Iraq?) that needs to be “contained” in order for the “substance” to be retrieved. So the “marine” via a “transformer” is able to assimilate and go undercover into the native population and become “one of them.” All in the name of intelligence. And acquiring the “substance.” Wow.
I have to admit during the first half of the film I was thoroughly enjoying myself. The marine learns the ways of the natives and falls in love with one of them. Romance included. Great. Then I heard the words from the marine commander:
We need to do a pre-emptive attack.
Uh oh. Dorothy, we are not in Kansas anymore. I have to tell you guys the words “United States”, “Vietnam”, “Afghanistan” and “Iraq” were never used, but I believe the director’s intent was clear. He is anti-war, anti-everything America stands for and is integrating his thoughts and beliefs into this film. Although this show was a sell-out this is a subtlety I can assure you was lost on all except for 2 people in the crowd: myself and the boyfriend sitting next to me who just happens to root for the other side.
Cameron is a masterful storyteller. He sucks you in. This is the same guy who brought us Titanic. I am a woman who cried during Charlotte’s Web when the spider died, and I cried during this film as well when the alien planet’s inhabitants were brutally attacked and murdered for no reason other than to acquire “the substance.”
If Cameron’s purpose was nothing more than to instill some introspection on the part of some theater-goers he certainly succeeded for me. I am not saying I am going to change my mind on any policies the U.S. may have but his thoughts were not lost on this poster. For those of you who haven’t seen the film I won’t give away the ending but not since Pirates of the Caribbean have I heard an entire group of theater-goers clap at the end.
But only two people in this theater were not clapping: me and the boyfriend sitting next to me. Because we both knew what Cameron’s message was.
Food for thought.