By IZUMI HASEGAWA, Special to The Rafu
James Cameron is undeniably a 3D movie magician. There is probably no other film director that comes close to matching his understanding of 3D and his expertise in making the most out of those effects.
From the beginning of the film, his mastery of 3D is apparent. The scene in the forest is breathtaking because of the 3D art form; I highly recommend watching the film in 3D to experience it fully.
“Avatar: Way of Water”is set about ten years after the original. The former Marine, Jake (Sam Worthington), has married Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) and lived peacefully with his family of seven on the planet Pandora. However, when the humans come to invade Pandora once again, Jake and his friends turn to seek the help of the sea tribes.
Although the story is somewhat a cliché, like the previous film (thus, I recommend watching in 3D), Cameron’s skill draws you into his world. In particular, the depiction of the culture and customs of Na’vi are shown more clearly than in the previous work, allowing the audience to delve deeper into their understanding of the Na’vi. The more you can understand their way of life, the more you empathize with the characters from Pandora, and the more you are moved. Once again, I was blown away by Cameron’s talent.
The Na’vi believe that nature and life are the blessings of the mother planet. Because of this, they respect nature and have a philosophy of coexistence. Watching the movie, I noticed the overlap in their way of life and Shinto, a way of life that the Japanese have followed since ancient times. The Na’vi’s beliefs are expressed as “culture,” “customs,” and “way of life” instead of a religion.
Throughout the film, scenes of the Na’vi’s respect and gratitude towards nature and other people are depicted and contrasted with the scenes of earthlings who prioritize only their interests and completely ignore respect and gratitude. It reflects Western countries’ aggression and whale hunting in the past, as well as a metaphor for the modern society that puts people first.
The sea where this film is set is reminiscent of the sea in Shimane, where I went swimming as a child. Back then, I could count the fish swimming in the sea without a single piece of garbage. But when I visited a few years ago, there was an uncountable amount of garbage.
As of now, we have not found a place to live other than Earth. If or when we do, will humans be mature enough to migrate in the way of coexistence’ rather than invasion? This film is mainly focused on the children of the young couple who were the main characters in the previous “Avatar,” and it is a story of their growth. The audience of this work is a generation that must save the Earth from climate change and pay the price of our generation, which by giving priority to convenience has caused tremendous damage to the Earth.
Through his films, Cameron raises alarm bells for the generation entrusted with the Earth’s future and strongly advocates for a sustainable way of life.
Translated by Hana Umemoto/Hollywood News Wire Inc.