I was shocked and dismayed at the special effects we were shown. They were magical. If I had been from another planet I would have stood in awe of the humanoids who could produce such a spectacle.
I would have concluded that if they could create such as was shown on the screen in Avatar, they would be a species that could transcend the animal instincts of hate, killing, war, greed, and the insatiable quest for power. And that they would be able, instead, to find creative ways to care for the poor, to make love the overriding human emotion, to cure sickness and, in the end, to create a heaven-like place on earth for their brothers and sisters.
Instead, what made me hate the movie was that its theme was not love, but war; its message was not forgiveness but killing and hate. Its heroes were killers in the end. The story was the genetic story of mankind.
We have only so many stories in our human suitcase of stories. We have romance, love, betrayal, hate, killing, greed, and the rest of the human potpourri of stories; but they are limited. We cannot have a story without the conflicting story. Love without hate does not exist in the human experience. Nor can caring exist without greed. Peace without hostility and fear.
The sadness of the movie is that it could explode in its technical magic, but it was shackled to a totally predictable, banal story of the same human characteristics that will eventually destroy us and the planet. It is the same story that existed when man came swinging down from the trees more than a million years ago. We make no progress, none, in reshaping our souls. We are confined to our primitive selves.
We may wish to change. But we cannot. We can yearn for beauty and grace, but we cannot shed our primal core of war. That this was proven to me at the movie is why I hated it. I wanted it to lead us out of ourselves. Instead, it taught me once again that we are trapped in our animal origins from which there is no escape.