Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Avatar Depression

I love Avatar. I've seen it twice now, once in 2D and once in 3D. It has such a mesmerizing quality to it that both times it stuck in my brain for days afterward.

Actually, that's not quite right. It stuck in my emotions or somewhere in that nether region of the self that is neither soul nor mind nor body. There is something about that movie that tugs at me.

Apparently, a lot of people are feeling this way, and many of them are crazy:

James Cameron's completely immersive spectacle "Avatar" may have been a little too real for some fans who say they have experienced depression and suicidal thoughts after seeing the film because they long to enjoy the beauty of the alien world Pandora.
It then goes on to quote a guy who wants to become Na'vi so much that he fantasizes about comitting suicide and then waking up on the planet Pandora.

I definitely understand the strong connection to the movie. Committing suicide as a way to visit Pandora? Not so much.

But for a movie whose storyline is Pocahontas and the Lion King meet The Transformers, one of the things that it gets right is human nature.  Where unimaginable riches exist, there will always be people willing to crush entire civilizations to get to them. And there will always be people who stand in the way, even though in real life they usually get crushed by tanks.

I have some advice for those who dream of Pandora:  Dream of Earth's rainforests instead, while we still have them.


brownie said...

Just wait until The Heart of the Graystone comes out in incredible 12D! There'll be some serious heartache then.

Anonymous said...

"they long to enjoy the beauty of the alien world Pandora."
---I had that feeling too, but if one looks more closely at what we have here, there is lots that is pretty neat too. Luminescence is found deep in our oceans. Some of the brilliant colors exist in fish and salamanders. Cuttle fish are neat and personable.

Part of the problem is that it's only $8-12 for a movie ticket and it involves nearly no effort, but to get out and see things definitely takes effort, and sometimes takes money. For me, all I need is a library card and I can imagine some of the fantastic worlds created in the stories.

Also, stories, movies, etc, never cover the icky parts, or no one catches that something could be bad. Notice the Na'vi were fairly harsh towards those who couldn't do what they could do. If you were a nerdy male Na'vi who wanted to learn about plants and couldn't fly one of the winged creatures, you'd be taunted, laughed at, and would probably never get a mate. The movies always show the characters overcoming adversity, but in realtiy there is always someone who is different who just isn't going to live up to expectations. The Na'vi made it clear that if the new-comer couldn't do what they could, they weren't going to accept him. I guess that just makes for a real paradise only for those with a particular skillset. Who knows how much of a hell it is for the Na'vi who are social outcasts.

Anonymous said...

It's a funny thing. I enjoyed the movie, but commented to my wife afterward that Pandora seemed a little bit like the fantasy of 12-year old who had just discovered black lights.

brownie said...

Having just seen it myself, I must say this: Dances with Wolves in Space.