Sunday, January 17, 2010

Some thoughts on Avatar

Last week I finally got to see Avatar in 3D (just 'regular' 3D, you understand, not this new-fangled 'Imax' 3D everyone's talking about).

First off, I have a few of gripes I'd like to get off my chest:
- The 3D didn't seem to work for me. It wasn't as impressive as I'd hoped because at times it was blurry and nothing really 'jumped out' at me throughout the film. Was it the fact I was wearing my own specs (filthy ones, at that) under the 3D glasses? Am I one of those in the minority who have eyes that simply can't process a 3D image (now that is daft - I see in 3D most of the time)? Or was Cineworld Newport just a bit rubbish at configuring the latest in visual technology? It's hard to say. My non-speccy-wearing mate Jon who was with me didn't seem to have any problems.
- I found it a bit racist in a weird sort of way. The Na'vi appeared to be a bit too similar to other cinematic portrayals of African tribespeople. Maybe my own ingrained prejudices were being provoked ... dunno.
- The new New Age references were a bit daft, but I don't feel as strongly about it as some right-wing fundies have in the States. Geez, guys, it's just a story. Stop being so threatened by anything that doesn't fit with your worldview - you should be more confident in the Truth.
- The story is hardly original. But, then, most epics follow a relatively predictable narrative.

Right - that's the negative out of the way.

Aside from all the niggles mentioned above, I was deeply moved by Avatar. Not because of the borderline-soppy conclusion where the protagonist 'gets his girl' after enduring great danger (staple ingredient of any epic movie), but simply because of what was on screen. It was a showcase of remarkable creative talent - talent that has created an entire world from scratch (admittedly taking elements of our own planet and tinkering with them) and made it hyper-realistic.

For me, that creative talent points to an even greater creative talent. God is the creator of all things - us, our world, our solar system, our universe. He made man in His own image. And so, we are creative because He is creative. Avatar helped me to glimpse God at work in a new way, but I don't have to travel several light years to appreciate His handiwork.

The wonders of God's creation are all around us, and so too are the fruits of our own creative efforts - which would not be possible without Him.

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