In Hinduism Avatāra (अवतार) is a Sanskrit word for a deity deliberately descent from heaven to earth. In English the translation is “incarnation”, or as some argue more accurately “appearance” or “manifestation”, in Chinese it appears as 化身, 下降, 转世. So Krishna is the avatar of Vishnu, and Arjuna is the avatar of Indra in Mahābhārata.
Or perhaps in ten years time all people remember about Avatar will be Na’vis at Pandora of James CAMERON, the most expensive film ever made, and maybe the most profitable film ever made, and for sure the most expensive film ticket ever in China? Obviously the 200RMB per ticket at IMAX Shanghai is much higher than what we paid at IMAX here in New York. maybe indeed Shanghai is the new Pandora.
CAMERON’s Avatar is for sure the most beautiful film I have seen, a visual feast, so real yet so imaginative at the same time, an two hour and forty minutes odyssey to a marvelous dreamland… that’s probably all I could see about the movie. The story and the plot? A anti-demolishing battle between original residents and the greedy property development, as you might read from newspapers about Chinese cities going through rapid urbanization. The only difference between the sci-fi film and reality is that in Chinese eventually the stubborn nails, as the government bureaus and super connected developers call them, will eventually be pulled out mercilessly, yet in Pandora the Na’vis resisted the colonist’s expansion and kicked them out.
The Na’vis had to pick up machine guns and crash the plane, so at the end the mother tree is dead, the ugly operation center of the colonists is left in the planet, and I wonder whether the avatar of Jake the human and the Na’vis will live happily forever, after the once upon a time destruction happened.
It remains me a Chinese proverb 隔靴搔痒 – to scratch one’s itch with boots on, so there is a problem, and there are efforts made to solve the problem, be it our collective fear about the future or guilt about the past, the result? I am not so sure.
I would recommend to watch it as it’s really really beautiful, after that, go back to Peter BROOK’s Mahābhārata.
This is for my dear friend Pilar in Shanghai.