Avatar (spoilers within)
I don't think I've ever seen a film that I had quite this reaction to.
On the one hand, the whole experience was beautiful to an amazing degree, and certain key moments created a massive emotional response in me (though in others this was dimmed thanks to a few bits of poor editing or scriptwriting). It was breathtaking.
The problem was . . . any time I stopped to think about it, it all seemed to crash down. This is a world of Noble Savages (didn't people stop writing about them in 1850 or so?) who are without any imperfection or moral weakness, against a world of evil (and overwhelmingly white) colonialists who are driven by nothing but greed (quite literally: the only reason for mining is for monetary gain, not because the ore is necessary for, say, spaceflight or energy or keeping civilisation going).
The fim seemed to want us to think that Jake had to choose between allowing the People to die but getting his legs back, or saving the People and remaining a cripple . . . but he didn't. He simply had to choose between helping with a massive slaughter and getting use of his old (withered, skinny, unusable - not just paralysed) legs back, or saving innocent people and getting to live in a magnificent, athletic, sensuous, near indestructable body. Which is . . . no choice at all, really.
When the telepathic tree was destroyed the sense of loss was palpable and it was almost painful to watch . . . but later scenes implied the People could communicate with the world and their ancestors just fine so long as the big tree (which was not originally threatened, as far as I could tell) survived. The People were initially painted as "very hard to kill" but when the fighting actually began, it seemed that a bullet or two would do the trick (same as it would anyone else).
The People in general, while looking fantastic (in both senses of the word), acted in every way human and so it didn't seem to be a story about what is alien or different at all. Just, as I said, a highly romanticised Noble Savage.
And worst of all . . . not only did the Noble Savages defeat the evil colonists . . . but the Noble Savages only did so after an evil colonist went native. Because the white, American marine was actually better at being a Noble Savage than the Noble Savages were.
So, yeah. On every level of analysis and understanding I found it simplistic, preachy, and heavy-handed. But yet - it emotionally affected me to a depth very few films have done in a long time. Strange, that. Definitely glad I spent money on seeing it, but I don't see myself seeing it a second time.
(PS - Oh, and it's not an otherkin movie. Here's why. If Jake was otherkin, he wouldn't have spent the film striving to become one of the People and then leading them. He'd have spent the film annoying the People with nonsensical talk of how awesome it was being a human, how he loved it oh so much, how there was no point living as one of the People because he just wanted to get back to his former, real life. Heh.)
Ubi Dubium, Ibi Libertas
Quote:"I have suffered from being misunderstood, but I would have suffered a hell of a lot more if I had been understood."