Sunday, January 10, 2010


Watched the movie Avatar twice. Consider it the best piece of post-modernist art I have ever laid my eyes on.

The way the Na'vi people have been portrayed shows extraordinary care. The depth of the Na'vi's understanding of nature, themselves and their deity Eywa is in strong contrast with the juvenility of the humans' approach. For instance, Jake prays a half-doubtful prayer the night before the battle to the wishing tree - at which Neytiri remarks that Eywa doesn't take sides, she just keeps the balance of Life.

Avatar abounds in symbolism - for instance, traditional wisdom is the 'hometree' which is thoughtlessly brought down at the Colonel's command. Not a frame or a line is wasted without showing the contrast between the Na'vi way of life and the human approach. The human manager calls the Na'vis as 'monkey-men' whereas the Na'vi call the humans 'dreamwalkers'.

The American foreign policy seems to have been parodied in more than one instance: the Colonel grimly announces that they are gonna fight 'terror with terror' when all that the Na'vi's have are bows and arrows and only ask to be left alone. The corporate manager complains bitterly that the 'monkey-men' (referring to Na'vis) don't seem to want education, medicine, roads and all that the humans are willing to provide. A plunder of epic proportions is clothed among niceties when it has the simplest of reasons i.e. selfishness - the Colonel says they are gonna be 'humane' in their mission to clear up the space for mining operations.

Loved this movie. Hope James Cameron doesn't take another decade for his next one.