Despite the naysayers who find deficiencies in the story, clearly Avatar, it seems, is resonating emotionally with audiences who find the immersive “journey to Pandora” an experience worthy of experiencing multiple times. In fact CNN reports on “Avatar Blues”, noting: “James Cameron’s completely immersive spectacle “Avatar” may have been a little too real for some fans who say they have experienced depression and suicidal thoughts after seeing the film because they long to enjoy the beauty of the alien world Pandora.” Over at Avatar Forums, forum administrator Philippe Baghdassarian has posted a second thread so that people can continue to share their confused feelings about the movie. Baghdassarian notes in the CNN piece: “I wasn’t depressed myself. In fact the movie made me happy ,” Baghdassarian said. “But I can understand why it made people depressed. The movie was so beautiful and it showed something we don’t have here on Earth. I think people saw we could be living in a completely different world and that caused them to be depressed.”
This comes as the second and third wave of criticsm, including a blast from the Vatican, critiques the film for its emotional shallowness and lack of substance. How can there be such a dichotomy in the response from “everyday viewers” on the one hand, who are viewing the film at a record pace including repeat viewings on par with the Titanic phenomenom a decade ago, and the reaction of the literate and literary elite, who find no resonance and consider the film to be a 3D CGI spectacle with little substance or originality?
I don’t pretend to have the answers but last night I came across several versions of Leona Lewis’s “I See You” music video that evoked very different reactions. I had not been particularly impressed with the song when I heard it in the end credits of Avatar during each of my three visits to the theater — but one video version in particular resonated and is causing me to re-evaluate the song and its relationship to the film. Here it is – and take three minutes to watch it, it’s worth the time:
And if you think the emotional impact achieved in that video is easy, then take just a few seconds view the first half minute of so of this version of the same song — a version which has none of the emotional resonance of the first one and makes you wonder who Fox hired to cut it: (oh, and Fox has disabled embedding on it, which means they don’t want this version getting out there too much.
More on Avatar’s “emotional resonance” in an upcoming post — just wanted to share this little discovery now.