Movie Review...

Avatar. Where do I begin? I first heard about this movie through a preview when I was at the movies with Jake in November. It was minimal at best, and was definitely a teaser. I didn’t know what to make of it, specifically because of the blue people. However, I was intrigued and needless to say was eager to see it. Since my cousins told me it was a great movie, the interest solidified and I went to see it in theater three days later. I knew that if I had to choose which movie to see, I needed to pick this one, since it’s grandeur was something to behold. I was not disappointed. It was an epic movie, and was breathtaking as a cinematic experience. I was simply awestruck by the imagination of the writers and production team.

The movie, for those of you who haven’t seen it or have no desire to see it, is about a man who travels to another planet, where people there are trying to excavate a rare variety of rock. However, there is a race of people, the Na’vi, who live right on top of the highest deposit of the rock. In order to persuade them to move, scientists created Avatars, or a being that has a mix of Na’vi and human DNA, which were controlled by the human counterpart. Jake’s avatar was chosen to become part of the tribe, and he gains their trust. Jake soon realizes that the people do not want to move from their home, and he must choose whether to stand for or against the militant group that want to destroy the tribe.* The forest where the Na’vi live is lush, vibrant, and pleasantly colourful, particularly at night. I enjoyed watching the ground light up at the touch of a foot, and the spinning light bugs were amusing and beautiful. As a friend of mine said, one couldn’t help but think about the beauty of the creation, and how wonderful God has created our own world. Of course I noticed the swear words, and there were many, for the atmosphere was militant in nature. However, I seemed to look past the religious and spiritual aspect, since I was so enraptured with the film itself. The colours and scenery drew me in.

Upon my second viewing, this time in 3D, I was distracted by the amazing digital effects, how the bugs in the forest seemed to surround me too, and how it seemed like I was right there. Despite my fascination, I noticed the spiritual aspect much more, and it bothered me more than it had the first time. It disturbed me how the leader of the tribe tasted Jake’s blood, and how the people worshiped their deity humming and chanting in a catatonic state. I am well aware that this type of worship happens today in tribes and religions around the world. Yet as I was sitting there in that movie theater, watching them sway and their eyes roll back into their heads, I felt very oppressed, and knew that this movie had a deeper spiritual undertone than we were prepared for.

My sister said that instead of paying attention to their own deity, she substituted God for every reference of their deity and pretended it was to him they worship. I suppose that would help someone get through the movie. However, it was quite clear it was not God they were worshiping, as their deity was a type of Mother Earth figure. The references to “her” were everywhere, and were not at all subtle the second time around. I can’t help but think about how many people would be disturbed by references to worship. It may have been subtle to others, but since I noticed it, I felt surrounded by their devotion, wrong though it may be.

I am not saying the movie was bad, and I think everyone should see it at least once, especially in theater. However, think about it in a critical vein. It definitely helped to solidify what I believe in God, and how He relates to us. Yes, He wants us to pray to him to heal the sick, but he doesn’t expect us to go into a trance in the process. Yes, He wants us to appreciate and care for nature as His creation, but not to the point of worshiping what He has created.

When I came home from my first viewing, my Dad asked me whether the movie made me a better Christian. I thought this question to be unfair, since you could ask that about practically anything. Yet, it did give me pause and something important to think about. As a Christian I should be very critical about what I am viewing, listening to, and reading. If it does not honour God, or even promote Godly values, it is a little hard to see the point of exposing oneself to it, isn't it?

* For more details on the movie, head on over to the Plugged In website.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Ash
I too should be in bed but as this just popped in as I was shutting down I wanted to read it before I did..

I have been hearing much about this movie and had no idea what it was all about or what all the hype was that has been going on.
After a quick read of your preview ( and I will reread it more thoroughly when I am more awake ! ) I must say right off that it sure does not sound like the kind of movie that I would be going to .
This type of movie is not a favourite with me at any time and after hearing your descriptions and your feelings , I most definitely would say that I would not be going to see it.
I will digest your words a little more and if there are any further comments I will post them at another time.
Thank you for your review though and for sharing our honest thoughts .
Much love
Nan xoxoxo Happy New Year