Photo Credits to Nida Shanar
In 2009, Director James Cameron’s “Avatar” came out in theatres and broke box office records around the world for highest-grossing film. Now almost 15 years later, the sequel “Avatar: Way of the Water” has already surpassed a half-billion USD in U.S. box office sales since its release in mid-December.
The movie has gotten some bad press surrounding issues of cultural appropriation and the white saviour complex. This is especially in light of renewed criticism Cameron has faced from Indigenous peoples about comments he made in the past about the Lakota Sioux peoples. With that in mind, there was a lot that was still enjoyable about the movie.
This is your spoiler alert.
It was quite clear at first glance of the movie that it had been quite a few years since the first one had been released, especially if you watch the first “Avatar” recently. The CGI and graphics that are used to create the planet, Pandora, and environment that the Na’vi, Pandora’s Indigenous species, inhabit is so lifelike. It looks no different than many of our forests and oceans, adding of course, the alien species of plants and animals that live among the Na’vi.
The culture of each Na’vi tribe were similar to one another but also very different. Many had shared beliefs despite differences in language. The regions each tribe lived in set them apart from one another, such as near the ocean or in the jungles. But, we learned that when you respect another person’s culture and are willing to learn and understand their way of life, then we can co-exist quite peacefully.
A very special element that was included in this “Avatar” movie was sign language. There was an entire language created for this movie. I learned while watching a red carpet interview that the creator of this beautiful language was CJ Jones, an actor who is deaf and made his Hollywood debut in the movie “Baby Driver”.
Of course, there was the big and emotional ending. For all of you who get super emotional and cry during movies, there were a few tears to hold back. The ending was an amazing cliffhanger to lead so many of us wanting to see the next movie, which is already in the works with a release date set for December 2024.