"Avatar", directed by James Cameron, is certainly a compelling movie. Some of the themes portrayed in the film really made me think. Why do culture clashes always seem to end up in a chaotic mess? The colonists (in this movie, the humans) did not appreciate the positive aspects about the indigenous people(the Na'vi tribe). Also, the humans desired the precious stones that were under the dwelling place of the Na'vi tribe. Does this not epitomise what colonisation was about? Lands were only made colonies because they contained valuable resources or because they were "strategic".
I feel that major underlying messages include the destructive potential of science and technology, and the importance of religion as a support. The Na'vi people had a well-established religious belief. The humans tried to destroy the Tree of Souls (the center of Na'vi religion and culture) with their advanced weapons; however, the Tree is unscathed in the end. Does this mean that religion will always prevail over science? However, it is due to science and technology that the protagonist, Jake, was able to "move" into his Avatar (a genetically-engineered human-Na'vi hybrid body). Does this mean that science will aid religion in its fight for survival in modern day society?
As always, love is another theme in "Avatar". It was not only Jake's love for Neytiri, a princess of the Na'vi tribe, but also his love for his adopted home and people, that moved him to protect them.
The Na'vi people lived in harmony with nature because they formed bonds with the wildlife they tamed. This reminds of of the French novel, "Le Petit Prince", where the fox says that to really understand someone, one has to form bonds with it. Does global warming tell us that we do not know our planet well enough yet?
I really thought that the graphics were amazing, especially the 3D effects. I highly recommend this film to everyone, though it is rated PG-13 in USA.