I’d almost written this completely after we came home last night, high on nothing but good old-fashioned night air, and then did something that wiped it out permanently: I accidentally closed the browser window, without posting the article….
Figuring I wasn’t supposed to do it right there and then, I closed the lid of the netbook, and invited my ladies to call it a night in the wee hours of the morning. That was about six hours ago, and in about an hour they’re supposed to be up. But I’m digressing…
Sipping my glass of water, both feet solidly planted on the earth, I find within me the fire of wanting to tell you all about last night’s movie, which M. Night Shyamalan (catch the "Night Air" bit?) called the Last Airbender. It might well have been called Avatar like the animation series it was based on, but that would have confused things because a movie with that exact title had already been released recently.
Although I’m not here to prove anyone wrong, I simply must express an opinion quite divergent from that of the first person whose review of the movie struck my eye on the Internet Movie Database: he insisted that it was terrible, way too dark in tone, and totally screwed up in its use of 3D. That last bit may be so, I can’t discern that because we just saw the normal old-fashioned movie, but the first point I must emphatically deny:
True, the dark may have been ubiquitously present with the Fire Nation and their ominous plans for total domination of their planet (where have we heard this before?), but actually there was considerable Light available even amongst their ranks….
It may well have been so that my fellow reviewer emphasized the visual element, which is of course the prime element of a moving picture. If that was the case, I do agree: the Fire Nation and their iron-clad heavy machinery were very undeniably present in this film. But being a writer, I notice other, subtler things, like the words used:
"He will begin to change hearts, and it is in the heart that all wars are won." opens up the well of truly spiritual expressions which keep up a steady pace throughout the story. Sure, it is good against bad like many movies portrayed it in the past, but in defense of the Last Airbender I must mention that bad and good have been diligently mixed into a cocktail of delightful coming into being, regardless of one’s particular place in life.
"We could be friends, you know?
", is something said by our Last Airbender to his enemy called Zuko who stops at nothing to capture him. Aang is a truly essential character himself, even despite the fact he’s the main character, and so deserves that place: afraid of his own powers, he seeks guidance from the Dragon Spirit, and shuns the idea of his being the Avatar, of which everyone expects so much. And it is a bit much, to find out as a young boy you’re reincarnated over and over again just for the purpose of being the protector of the entire planet, the one who is supposed to bring balance!
Isn’t that in a way the struggle most of us are involved in? If we believe even half the things said right here on Moorelife (and it’s not just me saying them) , we are every bit as powerful as Aang is. And still, we need others to support us in our reasons for being, or at least we think we do. In the end, it still is going to be just us doing it. And so it is with Aang: the Dragon Spirit only tells him that violence is not the way of the Avatar, and Aang eventually finds his way himself, chasing off the Fire Nation’s ships of war without shedding another single drop of blood, or even drowning a single one of them.
But of course it wouldn’t be a movie if it left no room for a sequel: three or four of them actually, because plans are in the works to do the full four books of the original animation series, and maybe add another one to round it up. I for one am certainly going to be keeping an eye on their progress….
Loving seeing Good in All,