The AVATAR Effect: Who Loves/Hates It?

2 faces It's interesting seeing who does and does not like AVATAR. The Vatican was lukewarm—thought it was clichéd and overly sentimental even while admitting its extraordinary visual impact. But some think it slams the U.S. military, others say it's a straight send-up of the Iraq and Afghan wars, a few see lukewarm future-hippie idealism, and the kooks think it promotes tree-worship and Marxism or is out-and-out anti-American.

Meanwhile, some liberals have labeled the film racist because the human is Sam Worthington and not Will Smith. Russians are calling for Cameron's arrest, claiming the film stole the story line of a popular series of 10 novels published in Russia in the '60s. And the Chinese have pulled the 2-D version of the film from theaters saying it is taking too much market share from Chinese films and drawing unwanted attention to the sensitive issue of forced evictions. Even critics that once loved it, are falling off the AVATAR bandwagon when it comes to the Oscars.

On the other hand, environmentalists love it, especially when they tweak haters about the hidden eco-terrorism conspiracy that AVATAR contains. Others find it a spiritual story - rich with symbolism and representing the ongoing struggle between spiritual principles and human flaws. And of course, moviegoers love it. With awards coming in left and right, AVATAR's worldwide total is now $1.836 billion to Titanic's current $1.842 billion record.

Sponsored by Panasonic VIERA. Return to the world of AVATAR in stunning full HD with the Panasonic VIERA HD TV.

Anti-war, eco-conscious, Anti-American, pro-religious, racist… do you think Avatar has a socio-political message or is it just a great movie?

Comments

NAVi Jakesully

I will go racist against anyone who hates AVATAR...I will do what ever it takes to make them like AVATAR.

Forester

well, it is absolutely a great movie, but it has its share of messages. it isnt all about the 3D action and special effects, its about the love story, between two completely different beings, its about the ability to actually SEE each other, and now just judge by what is on the outside. these are extremely important messages, and as James has said before, if everyone could just take the time to see each other for who we are, this world would be a much better place to live in. hopefully people realize this someday, and hopefully our world will be at peace.

Ayhan B.

Avatar is simply a great movie to me. If the story, characters, or plot offend anyone in any way, I doubt it was intentional. Even then, it shouldn't stop you from enjoying the movie, from the awe - inspiring environments to all the subtle details that make the world of Pandora seem so real and yet so alien. James Cameron himself thought of everything regarding the world, right down to the handles and valves on the military base to the muscular and respiratory systems of all the creatures. Besides, any movie that inspires this much commotion and racks up a huge following has got to be doing something right.

Account Deleted

I was going to say something, but Forester said it all for me.

Jonathan

Honestly think about the reaction people have had to it. The people that are saying they don't like it because it's Anti-American are saying this because they benefit from the "not so good" things that America does, people today are to concerned with filling their pockets instead of enjoying their lives in a peaceful manner. I personally do think it has deeper meaning on top of just being an amazing film, but by no means would I call it bad. People like the image it gives to primitive life, when things were simpler and I'm sure many people would like to live that kind of life style again, where things are more or less equal and everything is not corrupted.

IGGY

now that the movie has made its billion and going to make 2 billion + every one wants to get there hands on the money saying this and saying that comon people its a movie and STOP YOUR CRYING

Stephen2k8

lol racist, people don't know the definition of the word.
Racism is taking a person's skin color into consideration in any decision making process. However when describing a person , to say he is black which is as valid a feature as male or female is considered racist. But to care about what color the main character's skin is and calling the director a racist for it is a hypocrisy on a laughable level.

Danann (Nikt'Chey!)

Honestly... A five year old could work out the moral message at the heart of this film.
I love AVATAR, obviously- since I'm on this forum, but it's anything but morally ambiguous!
WHICH IS A GOOD THING! I think that films should have clear representations of right and wrong- even if it's more realistic to make all the characters identifiable, I think that being good and doing good is something to strive towards!
However, all this nonsense about it being Un-American, or Anti-Militaristic is stupid!
It's only Anti-American if Americans watching the film are on Colonel Quaritch's side... in which case they need therapy. And Anti-Militaristic is just another way of saying Anti-Killing innocent people!
In which case, yes, it is!
Have your own opinions by all means, but there's no point discussing the film's political standpoint- it's quite clear that it is anti-war, pro-nature and all about peace. If you are not...
Go join th RDA.

Na'viDelphia

Avatar has, as far as we know, been in the works for a number of years. There might have been other stops this story could have made from start to finish, but Jim Cameron wanted to make a story about an expandable, detailed world and people with unique and extraordinary features and how we come to terms with them, or not. How could the story have been more distinctive? That the intended "Avatee" come up there? Should the hero have been a little more comtemptuous at first? A storyline where they're looking for another unobtanium vein? That when Neytiri's father died, she just weepingly muttered to Jake to stay away for awhile? Should another writer have come in: If the conflicts this story must have has elements in common with another (Dances With Wolves), I'm not sure if it can be helped. Does reading the complete script redeem the film for anybody?

Anti-American? The forces here aren't specifically servicemen, but mostly, if not entirely former servicemen in a private army ala Blackwater, and they're sraight up SOBs. Therefore, I don't think that rooting for the Na'vi is inconsistent with supporting the Armed Services. Hey, is "It's a Wonderful Life" with the greedy Potter, anti-capitalist?

Titanic had people emptying books on the subject from the libraries(as I saw the afternoon that I watched it); Avatar has people thinking in lots of ways; I looked up the periodical table and saw gaps in atomic mass where a new element could be placed; I wondered again what place humans were intended to have in the ecosystem; for all our accomplishments, were we supposed to do or have this much? I doubt it, but here we are. Will it get as bad as we see in the opening scene? How can we stop it? As I said elsewhere, the film tells us in 2:40 that if we can't answer that question, it's nobody else's problem. Maybe Klaatu's people were right, but that's another narrative universe.

Pasow

with all great movies come a lot of hate. hopefully the nay sayers will see that they are either over critical or just plain stupid. it takes a lot of creativity and will to create a hole new world such as Pandora. the only other person to do that so single handedly was George Lukas. and look at him, he loves Avatar!

Spirit

It's just a freaking movie. You know, it's too bad we have all these people taking this movie too seriously and criticizing it for it's anti-military...things. Where I, an average person, was just paying attention to how this movie is just fantasy, the CGI, the love story and the action.

Account Deleted

I think the film has a lot of socio-political message in it, and that's why it is so good. Without it, the film would be only one more empty blockbuster.

And Stephen2k8, you said everything. At the moment they look to the actor's skincolor, the ones being racist are them, I shouldn't be matter, poor blinded guys...

Tawtute Txen (slightpepper)

I will never understand some of the negative opinions about Avatar, but there will always be those who have to complain.

Elpis Desmotis

The film has a very clear message, driven home in an enchanting, esthetic way. The spectator is invited to imitate the film's hero, leave his or her moral and spiritual wheelchair, stand up and walk.

Redion

I love Avatar and i don't care what others think. This is the best movie of all times.

Steven58 (Chok'ete)

Honestly....

It truly is an amazing movie. And a movie of this size and scope will offend SOMEONE....and i must say....that most critics still can't deny the fact that this is a good movie and will fare well at the Oscars (should).

This is the film of our generation people =)

Paola

Like any other piece of art, Avatar for me it s contextualized on time and like any other film has a message to comunicate. It s undeniable that the enviromental topic is in our agenda these days.
The beautiful thing for me about this movie, it s that it not only presents the social agenda, nowadays, wich already shows a sensitivity from the artist, but also works and explores very "human" issues like love, respect, fear, anger, etc.
I think that s very interesting, cause this exploration is not only on the script which usually happens with movies, but it s deeply conected to the visual art.
One of my favorites things about this movie is that we can feel so close to this avatar "alliens" cause the film has been worked so neat in a way that, eventhough, they are blue, and have a tail, they are so human too. And vice versa, in the main character we can see, eventhough, he is human he has so much inside of him of the avatar world. This exploration and presentation of the human being it s truly beautiful and inteligent. I love this movie to tears
On a first level, everyone wants to be blue, and jump and have beautiful skin light, but I think the avatar philosophy is much closer to human beings than we think. This movie makes you put urself in an scenario where u have to choose, and dare having a different life.
When I saw the movie I saw the two natures of the human being fighting each other. Phrases like "i see you" or " we are all part of the same energy" the comunication with nature, all of that has been done by humans too, we can see it in the precultures like the Incas and Mayas.
I dont think it s fair to say "this is just a movie", I think this is a very inteligent exploration of human nature and a good motivation to think who we really are and what we really want to make out of this life. We can see during every second of the movie, exploration and investigation of different realities, and the human nature, which makes this movie truly unique and beuatiful.

Blackerst

As mentioned by some such as Pasow and Tawtute Txen (sorry if I didn't mention anyone else) there will always be some form of dislike or hate towards anything humans encounter, but when one cannot reasonably explain why they like it or hate it then that is where it gets crazy and where accusations, harsh words, and other derogitory views start poping up. All of these comments originate from a person's point of view, morals, beliefs, background, history, etc.

I won't go into the religious portion since that can greatly vary among people of different beliefs, but I must say it's not a slam against the military since there appeared to be little to no chain of command that resembles the US military. Fact from the movie would be that if it was the military it would not take orders from a company such as RDA but from the higher chain of command (ex. Generals, President, etc.).

How this movie is a send-up of the Iraq and Afghan wars is unclear to me since the only thing connecting the movie and US's current involvment is that both are currently occupied by a fighting force. Other than that there is no real resemblence between the two, unless someone else has one.

Racist... expect to see that statement in just about everything, wether or not it is a plausable or false arguement. So no surprise or worry there.

Now the Russian ordeal is somewhat interesting, but I really cannot find enough info to get a clear picture as to what the heck is going on.

I thought the biggest thing that stood out for me was the mental torture and conflicts that ravaged Jake Sully as he went from his world into the Na'vi world back and forth. You get a good beginning glimpse of this happening after Jake comes out of link for the first time (after he was running outside and all) and he looks depressingly down at his crippled legs. This feeling can be somewhat related to the Avatar blues where the viewer is transported to the world of Pandora and leaves with a different view of their own world and their current situation. The biggest and most notable turning point is when Jake says, "Now everything is backwards. Like this is the dream and out there is the real world," (when in the link pod after coming out of link at one point in time I cannot recall).

rj

why cant we just watch a movie anymore its a movie jeeez man political analyst need to look at the worldright now and seee whats wrong for china to ban a movie is dumb.MY DAD and his friends i IRAQ loved the movie.My dad said the same thing why {and im black and caucasian} why will smith whats wrong with an AUSTRALIAN nothing people are just FOR THE WORLD LEADERS GOTTA A PROBLEM WITH THE WORLD FIX BECAUSE ITS YOUR FAULT!

rj

sorry for my grammar lol

Angel Darkchylde

I agree. What ever happened to just watching a movie and liking it or not (whichever the case may be)?? I personally love this movie and think all this fuss brought up about it is people being WAY to bored and having way to much time on their hands.

tirea'hufwe

Let me quote from one of my other favorite movies batman the dark night
" some people just like to watch the world burn" I'm not saying all the people that disagree with avatar is like that.
Why can't citticts just admit that they like the movie insted of saying what will make them the most money let me quote from avatar ( sorry that I changed it a little) " the worth of this world isn't in the paper in your wallet it's all around you"
I feel sorry for the people that don't get that and the sadest thing is that the people that don't get that are running the goverments of the world

Account Deleted


I think its clear that the movie has a socio/political message, that is one of the things that make the movie special, its like Cleber said: without that, the movie would be one more empty blockbuster, I completely agree with that. I think the movie reminds us as humans of what is truly important in life, seeing each others by what we really are, and not only the respect for nature, but for life itself, In my opinion, the Na'vi are the most human characters in the film, sure they are alien, have blue skin and tail, but they are uterly human nonetheless, I think that is what Jake saw in them, they reminded him of what was truly human within him, his notion of right and wrong, a simple notion that many people doesnt seem to have today in the world, and without that notion a person loses its own humanity, like the majority of military in the film. Its like Danann said, a child could understand the moral message of the film, its that simple, and yet so relevant, so important.
I'm going to quote from my favorite movie of all time: The Lord of the Rings, "All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you" All of us as humans have to decide what to do with the time we have in this world, now i'm quoting from Batman Begins: " Its not who you are inside, but what you do that defines you" Jake choose his side , and troughout the whole movie, his actions defined him, the same thing happens in real life with human beings.

QuantumDuck

IMO the biggest reason Avatar has become such a target for criticism and accusation is because of its success. Think about it, Avatar grossed over a billion USD in seventeen days, and is still a strong seller at the box office (not sure if it's still the top seller). It took Titanic nearly two hundred days to gross what Avatar has in about fifty!
See the chart yourself:
http://www.the-numbers.com/interactive/comp-Avatar.php
and for more of a breakdown:
http://www.the-numbers.com/movies/2009/AVATR.php

The amount of money this film has made is ridiculous. Not to say the movie doesn't merit the success, but its nearly 2+ billion in under two months!
Because of its success, it's now viewed as a threat. Sounds kinda stupid, I know, but, if Avatar hadn't been a success, no one would care about it. There would be no reason to smash it for racism, Anti-militarism etc.
Also, as far as critic bashing, critics are there for a reason, and its not to support movies that are extremely successful. Think of critics as "respected," "trusted" advertisers. At least the critics that get paychecks are.

IGGY

what gets me is where do these people get these ideas man the movie was excellent yes there were some things in it to think about but then again most movies do just take it as it is a beautiful futuristic love story

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