“Avatar: The Way of Water” is an environmental metaphor for 21st century humans. Beyond the beauty of its special effects – and the criticism of the film’s duration – there is a clear message that we should all make our own.
Today we talk about Avatar 2 and James Cameron, who is, without a doubt, the Leonardo Da Vinci of cinema. Few have brought technological and narrative innovation to cinema in this way. Titles like Aliens, Terminators or Titanic ne they are a clear example. Nor can we ignore the fact that no one has handled the fascinating universe of water in all its forms so well.
In 1989 he gave us abyss, a film in which a team of divers work together with the Navy to find a sunken nuclear submarine. There, in the depths of the ocean, they come into contact with an extraordinary race of aliens whose purpose is to save the human race from itself. A message, an idea, which will finish shaping in the first part of Avatar in 2009.
Because, if there is one concept that has always defined James Cameron in his films, it is the importance of transmitting environmental awareness. And, indeed, there are those who label him sentimental, preachy and even idealistic. However, no one can deny the mastery of him in this difficult task of entertaining the audience trying to convey a message…
“The Sky People have sent us a message that they can take what they want. That no one can stop them. Well, then we’ll send them a message: that they can’t take what they want! And that this… this is our land!”.
Avatar 2: the water way. A journey into the aquatic world of Pandora
The water way is the first film that James Cameron has directed 13 years after the last. During that time, CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) productions were a constant. Perhaps for this reason, more than one critic has wondered if the great master of special effects would have been able to surprise the general public by bringing, neither more nor less, a sequel.
And indeed, it has. The film is a milestone in the evolution of visual effects technology in the aquatic environment. Her box office success is undeniable and she has more than a chance to be among the Oscars. However, beyond its fascinating staging, there has been no shortage of critical voices and even boycott campaigns.
The reason? Let’s analyze it.
“Our great mother doesn’t take sides, Jake, she protects the balance of life.”
The old story, but fresher
Avatars 2 brings us back to its previous protagonist, Marine Jake Sully. The body that he previously manipulated mentally is now his only physical vehicle. He lives happily with his partner, Neytiri, with whom he grows up their children, some of which have been adopted. He is another Na’vi and also one of the best rebel warriors in the fight against the colonizers.
Harmony doesn’t last long in the idyllic world of Pandora, as humanity’s colonial mission resurrects to undermine peace. In his desperate attempt to survive, Jake and his family must leave the woods to join another clan. They are Na’vi of a lighter blue color, with fins, and ride on winged ichthyosaurs. They are the people of the sea, the ones who will teach them the way of the water.
On that journey they have to learn other rules, other ways to connect with nature, how to establish a symbiotic relationship with a whale extraordinary, Tulkum. Thus, if the forests of Pandora already seemed to us an unforgettable sensory experience, diving into these sumptuous marine universes elevates us to another dimension. The path of the water is another Eden in which we would like to live.
Pandora and some colonists who act as a mirror
In Avatars 2 we were even more fascinated by Pandora than the first part. Its bioluminescent forests, its six-legged predators, its flowers, its marine creatures, the beauty of the coral reefs… The show is creepy and thrilling, but if there is something James Cameron wants with his latest film, is to invite a necessary awareness.
This production is quite epic for the natural world, for that Mother Nature that in Pandora they call Eywa. Instead our humanity is the real enemy of itself and of all its ecosystems. If there’s one thing we learn from the Na’vi it’s how they always find the connection to the energy of their planet to re-establish balance and harmony. Dimensions that we have broken and violated.
It’s true that, so far, we haven’t yet colonized a planet of blue aliens. However, the race to find new metals outside the Earth has already begun. Just think of characters like Elon MuskJeff Bezos or Donald Trump, who have spoken on numerous occasions of the need to launch this race which would make us new colonizers.
“The Na’vi say that every person is born twice. The second time around is when you earn your place among the people… forever.”
Avatar 2: between environmentalism and film boycotts
We understand environmentalism as that set of practices that allows us to connect with a landscape or an ecosystem without altering it, guaranteeing its balance and conservation at all times. This is exactly what we learn in Avatars 2. Furthermore, James Cameron elevates environmentalism a that spirituality from which to see a planet as a deity. A superior being who welcomes us and gives us life.
When you see the Na’vi it is inevitable to think of all those peoples who, due to colonialism and imperialism, were devastated. Their culture, their way of life and even their lands were plundered to erase all that was sacred, all that was authentic and was also in harmony with the land itself. America, Africa, Australia… There are many Pandoras in our world.
However, there are several voices that have been raised against it Avatars 2. James Cameron is scolded for her unconscious arrogance and for having told, once again, the history of colonization from the white man’s point of view.
A show with solid values
Nobody denies that Avatars 2 is a technology show. However, it has nothing in common with the classic productions of the Marvel universe, where sensationalism rules everything. The Na’vi serve us as avatars and as a mirror to see the reflection of our own humanity and what, without a doubt, we should not lose sight of.
In addition to recovering our bond with nature and respect for the environment, it also speaks to us of love and family. Also of leadership, of uniting peoples and even of women’s strength. Ronal, the pregnant tribal leader, and Neytiri are another example of those characters created by Cameron who, like Lieutenant Ripley or Sarah Connor, are hard to forget.
In essence, the three hours of duration may be excessive for many. For others, it’s a journey that passes in a breath and leaves us wanting to return to Pandora again, even though production on the third part of Avatar is already underway.
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