I hate to admit it, but I was among the Close-to-the-Population-of-Earth number of people who went to the movie theatre to see Avatar. Or as some may call it, Dances With Wolves [in space!]. Or, as still others may call it, Fern Gully [in space!]. I enjoyed it the way one might enjoy a heap of grease-soaked diner food: it seemed like a good idea at the time, it was okay, I was satisfied in the moment, it took me forever to get through it, and once it had been a while, it didn’t sit well.
Why-you may ask-did I, of all people, spurn Avatar? After all, there’s a guy in a wheelchair in the main role, for goodness’ sake.
You’re right. The protagonist is in a wheelchair. He is also muscley and manly, and is completely emotionally unavailable. AND he saved an entire alien planet from mean, greedy white people. What’s not to like?
Again, I see where you’re coming from. And to an extent, I agree. But I feel like saving a planet, being a hero, and getting the hot Native Amer–I mean, alien–girl would have been sufficient for most movies of the White-Guy-Saves-Natives-From-Other-Different-White-People genre.
But no, the coup de grace for Wheels McFightsALot is still to come. After risking his life to save generations on the Home Planet of The Blue Man Group, his triumph is fully realized when he gets his Sea Legs back. By the end of the film, he can run and jump and play on the playground like all his other friends.
That’s what I’m supposed to take from this?
Oh, man. He doesn’t have to be in a wheelchair anymore. That was totally the BEST part of the whole MOVIE.
It’s a fantasy.
It’s not bound by typical constraints.
But Avatar leaves me feeling suspiciously like I just witnessed a faith healing. . . on the set of Pocahontas [in space!].
Granted, I shouldn’t expect the guy who directed Titanic to come up with a small budget cult classic with minimal special effects and a predictable plot line, but I can never shake the sense of disappointment I feel when I hear someone call it a great movie.
At the end of the day, I have to cross my fingers and hope that people don’t really look at life the way they do in the movies. Because I do hope for my life to get better and better, but I do not equate that with typical extremities.
In order for a truly great story to be told, there have to be a few imperfections here and there. The guy and girl can’t really realize they’re in love until they’ve fought and spent time apart. The nation can’t truly pull together to defend itself without the impetus of a crisis. So why should a hero have to get his legs fixed? Why can’t he just be gnarly and awesome and heroic the way he is?
It’s been a rough few weeks: challenges at work, at keeping the apartment in order, and in my family; emotional low points, friends coming and going and changing themselves; adjusting to a new job, living situation, and parish simultaneously. Not to mention this time has generally been one of intense introspection and self-work, in terms of Faith.
I haven’t written because I haven’t been able to think of anything to say. There haven’t been any stories from my life I could package well for you; nothing I could tie up in a pretty bow.
Then again, perhaps that’s the way it should be. After all, my life isn’t Last of the Mohicans [in space!] Perhaps the best st0ries are the ones with the flawed hero, the messy conflicts, and the uncertain ones. Let’s hope so, for my sake.