Timeout - I see you
by Sharukh Vazifdar
Avatar; Director: James Cameron: Cast: Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver
Set a hundred-and-fifty years in the future, this movie depicts a clash between the two sides of mankind. The greedy, incorrigible and near-sighted aspect of man versus his deeper, and self-centred side, which is in tune with his surroundings.
Having used up most of the resources on Earth, mankind seeks to exploit nearby planets and Finds a rich and rare mineral on Pandora, the moon of a planet in the Alpha Centauri system. But the indigenous people of Pandora, the blue, 10-feet-tall and deeply spiritual Na’vi, don’t approve of mining and exploitation of their planet, whom they consider their living goddess, Eywa, similar to our concept of Gaia.
A faction of the mining operation, which is working on a peaceful pact with the Na’vi,
creates genetically altered replicas of the Na’vi, called avatars, into whom the consciousness of the human operators can be transferred. Things take an unexpected twist when a military paraplegic, Jake, who controls an avatar, makes contact with the Na’vi, and starts to learn their ways. After three months with them, Jake is initiated into the tribe
and identifies more with his avatar than his human form, falling in love with one of the Na’vi. He even goes to the extent of fighting against the humans to defend the Na’vi and their home.
Symbolically, Cameron has tried to show how the ego or lustful nature of man acts blindly toward the lush spiritual abundance that surrounds him. It does not and cannot see a life without needs, not centred around the self. The incapacitated human is symbolically reincarnated as the Na’vi, the higher and true self, and fights the battle that each one of us will face sooner or later. The battle for freedom, not from an external oppressor, but the internal limitations. The movie has elements of serendipity and synchronicity in it giving it a magical and innocent feel. Eyes are the windows to the soul is an oft-used phrase, modified here to ‘I see you’, emphasising that there is more than meets the eye. A deeper reality to us, that is easy to miss.
Amongst the enchantment, the Na’vi have a way to bond both physically and spiritually with the creatures they ride, allowing them to move in unison, contrary to the barbaric methods of force and pain we use today. There is also a biological network that spreads all over the moon, through the mazes of roots covering it and allowing the Na’vi to communicate with the wildlife.
The movie makes one think whether technology is truly helping us progress, or just satisfying our greed to consume? Technological advancement without moral, spiritual and ethical advancement, as it exists today, can push a civilization to chaos or even annihilation.
All in all, a fantastically made movie, with complete application and insight into our current situation. Seeing the 3-D version of it added to the movie’s wonder and awe. Aren’t all of us really human avatars? Spiritual beings occupying physical bodies as a temporary home until we evolve and reconnect with our true spirit.
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