“Avatar: The Way of Water” is an environmental metaphor for 21st century people. Aside from the beauty of its special effects – and criticism of the film’s length – there is a clear message that we should all embrace.
Last update: January 02, 2023
Today we’re going to 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 Alien, Terminator or Titanic are clear examples of this. Also, we mustn’t overlook the fact that nobody has dealt with the fascinating world of water in all its forms so well.
In 1989 he gave us Abyss, a film about a team of divers working 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 goal is to save humanity from itself. A message, an idea that will take its final form in the first part of Avatar in 2009.
Because if there’s one concept that James Cameron has always defined in his films, this is it the importance of teaching environmental awareness. And indeed there are people who describe him as sentimental, preachy and even idealistic. No one, however, can contest his mastery of this difficult task of entertaining an audience while trying to get a message across…
“The Sky People sent us a message that they can take what they want. That nobody can stop her. Well, then we’ll send them a message: that they can’t take what they want! And that this… this is our country!”.
Avatar invites us to love the world as it is without changing it and connects us to the essence of Mother Earth.
Avatar 2: the waterway. A journey into the underwater world of Pandora
The waterway is the first film directed by James Cameron 13 years after the last. During this 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 could have surprised the general public by not making a sequel, more or less.
And indeed it has. The film is a milestone in the development of visual effects technology in the aquatic environment. His box office success is undeniable and he has more than one shot at being at the Oscars. But beyond the fascinating staging, there is no lack of critical voices, including boycott actions.
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
Avatar 2 brings us back to its previous protagonist, Marine Jake Sully. The body he previously mentally manipulated is now his only physical vehicle. He lives happily with his partner Neytiri, with whom he raises their children, some of whom are adopted. Another Na’vi, he is also one of the best rebel warriors in the fight against the colonizers.
In the idyllic world of Pandora, harmony does not last long as humanity’s colonial mission reemerges to undermine peace. In a desperate attempt to survive, Jake and his family must leave the forest to join another clan. They are light blue, finned Na’vi who ride winged ichthyosaurs. They are the people of the sea who will teach them the way of the water.
On this journey, they must learn other rules, other ways of connecting with nature, such as establishing a symbiotic relationship with an extraordinary whale, Tulkum. If the forests of Pandora seemed like an unforgettable sensory experience, immersing yourself in these magnificent marine universes takes us to another dimension. The water path is another Eden we would love to live in.
Pandora and some colonists who act as mirrors
In Avatar 2 we were even more intrigued by Pandora than in the first part. Its bioluminescent forests, its six-legged predators, its flowers, its sea creatures, the beauty of the coral reefs… The show is creepy and exciting, but if there’s anything James Cameron wants with his latest film, it’s to invite a necessary awareness.
This production is quite epic for the natural world, for this Mother Nature in Pandora they call Eywa. Instead, our humanity is the true enemy of itself and all of its ecosystems. If we learn one thing from the Na’vi, it’s that they always find the connection to their planet’s energy restore balance and harmony. Dimensions we have broken and hurt.
It is true that we have not yet colonized a planet with blue aliens. However, The race to find new metals outside of the earth has already begun. Just think of characters like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos or Donald Trump, who on numerous occasions have spoken of the need to start this race that would make us new colonizers.
“The Na’vi say that every human being is born twice. The second time, you’ll earn your place among the people… forever.”
Avatar 2: between environmental protection and film boycott
We understand environmental protection as a set of practices that allow us to connect with a landscape or ecosystem without altering it, ensuring at all times its balance and conservation. That’s exactly what we learn in Avatar 2. James Cameron elevates environmentalism to the spirituality from which one can see a planet as a deity. A superior being who welcomes us and gives us life.
When one sees the Na’vi, one cannot help but think of all those peoples devastated by colonialism and imperialism. Their culture, their way of life and even their land have been pillaged to erase anything sacred, authentic and in harmony with the land itself. America, Africa, Australia… There are many pandoras in our world.
However, there are several voices raised against Avatar 2. James Cameron is accused of his unconscious arrogance and he said again: The story of colonization from the white man’s point of view.
As the sequel begins in the woods of Pandora, the action shifts to coral reefs and the aquatic world.
A show with solid values
Nobody disputes that Avatar 2 is a tech 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 mirrors to see the reflection of our own humanity and which we undoubtedly should not lose sight of.
In addition to restoring our connection to nature and respect for the environment, it also speaks to us about love and family. Also of leadership, the unification of peoples and even the strength of women. Ronal, the pregnant tribal leader, and Neytiri are other examples of Cameron-created characters who, like Lieutenant Ripley or Sarah Connor, are hard to forget.
Essentially, the three hour duration may be excessive for many. For others, it’s a journey that will pass in the blink of an eye and make us want to return to Pandora even though production of the third part of Avatar is already underway.
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