Most of this article is opinion based
Avatar is now number 1 capsizing the Titanic and taking the honors of the best movie of all times for itself. The Los Angeles Times ( among many others ) reported that Avatar had racked up $1.85 billion in worldwide ticket sales, edging past "Titanic's" $1.84 billion. Domestically it fell short of the Titanic’s sales $554.9 million vs $600.7 million for Titanic. But overseas the movie was king of the world by pulling $1.30 billion to compared to $1.24 billion.
So what is it with this film that makes it a must see ? Why did it cross so many lines of cultures and come across with the same results ? Why did it cause controversy ? I have some theories on all of that.
So why was it a must see ? Yea it was a 3D movie that really rocked with its outrageously awesome effects and great action scenes. But there was another reason and it was just this. It was a good simple story line that had a very good moral message. I once heard a poster on another site and a handful of critics say that the story was not deep. That it lacked a true authors tale of telling a story. Ummm but get a life. A story does not have to be over drawn with complex twists and deep cryptic messages to be good. Many simple short stories and novels convey a message without getting all artsy and dwell in the depths of metaphors to do it. Avatar did what it was meant to do. Tell a story and convey a message. And the numbers prove it did it well. Unless there are a few telling the many that they are intellectually challenged and feeble for not agreeing with their point of view.
So why did it cross over to so many cultures ? I have to believe it was the message, plain and simple. It was nice for once seeing a movie that showed us that we do not have to sell our souls or destroy everything in our path to make peace with ourselves and nature. It was also refreshing to see that one of the morals was respect. Respect for nature, respect for others, and respect for yourself. Another message which I will repeat again soon and you will see why, was no matter what race you are from or matter the culture you embrace a good soul will always transcend all those obstacles and shine through in the end.
Why did it cause controversy ? Well there are many people which just did not like the film for very odd reasons. Well at least to me they were. One that surfaced from time to time was that the film was racist. It was said that it was another film showing a white man rescuing the primitive tribe. Ehhh that is weak and one could argue that comes from a small but bitter group. But never the less the press pushed on it giving the film some more advertisement and raising the curious factor a bit. It may have held some water with the exception is that the main character Jake Sully embraced their (Na’vi) way of life as opposed to changing them to fit his own culture. That to me showed the opposite and I believe many saw it that way also. Basically one of Avatars simpler messages and morals was that a good heart and kind soul that is willing to have an open mind can over come all those barriers that hold us as a species from coming together. Like I said the character in the film embraced a way of life that is not unlike those of American Indians, Tribal Africans, or those of the old European Clans. I also think that fact may have made it more appealing to a part of old world cultures that saw it as something they could themselves relate to.
Of course there were the anti tree hugging society and those that just like things to go boom critics that sounded off on many fronts. Hey I love things to go boom also. Matter of fact I think Cameron did a great job satisfying the pyros in the audience. Me being one of them. The pro environment sentiment is part of a bigger message which at the end of the movie summed it up nicely by Jake Sully’s narration. They will return to the planet that they killed. I think those were the words that was said. It is the same old message if we are not careful this could be us in the not to distant future message. Same old yes but very true. It was an ugly look at what our race can do when we overlook our sense of right and wrong for just profit.
Anyway its a dream of many I think to try to find a balance with your life and that of the outside world. Many Earth based religions believe that the Earth is alive that we are in fact are connected to each other by a force. We are definitely connected by synergy to the environment. What effects one eventually effects the other. It was sentiment that touched a good many of the audience. Matter of fact there were many that after they saw the film had to go and get therapy . I am not kidding with you on that. They said that after watching the film that they got overly depressed because they realized that our own world could not match up with the Na’vis world. That is the power of a simple and well told story coupled with state of the art CG’s and great direction from the director. That is the Avatar effect.