The world is full of incredible films; ones that make you cry, smile, and even cheer. The cinema is the best place to witness pieces of history as they are released into the world, and 2009 saw one of the most amazing movies hit the big screen: Avatar.

Picture Credit: 20th Century Studios

Picture Credit: 20th Century Studios

After releasing over a decade ago, Avatar still holds the title of the highest grossing movie of all time, beating 2019’s highly-anticipated film, Avengers: Endgame.

There is, of course, multiple reasons as to why this sci-fi feature has remained to be one of cinema’s greatest achievements; every aspect of this film is undeniably strong, and still holds up today.

Avatar follows Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) as he makes his way to the alien planet Pandora on a corporate mission after the death of his twin brother. Seeing as though Jake has the same genes as his late brother, Tommy, he takes his place and lands a spot on the Avatar programme.

Once on Pandora, a stunning and unique world, Jake, a paraplegic, links with his Avatar’s body and rediscovers what it feels like to walk, run, and feel the dirt between his toes once again.

Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver) has a lab set up in which Jake can switch bodies, and her goal is to teach the Na’vi (the residents of this world) how to speak English, as well as whole other manner of things; she also wants nothing more to learn about their customs and their world.

Jake is tasked with getting to know the natives, and see what he can learn. However, Colonel Quaritch (Stephen Lang) asks Jake to tell him what he knows in order for the army side of things to have the information to take an expensive element right out from under them.

After getting the chance to learn from the leader’s daughter, Naytiri (Zoe Saldana), and an opportunity to see Pandora the way no human ever has, he needs to decide where his loyalties lie...

Picture Credit: 20th Century Studios
Picture Credit: 20th Century Studios

From then on, we witness the absolute wonder and beauty that is the home of the tall, blue and slender Na’vi; their planet is a giant space of lush and cared for fauna, and every single leaf and tree has an undeniable purpose.

The first thing to mention would be the visuals. Not too far into the almost three-hour movie, Jake is in his Avatar body and the world of the Na’vi is seen. The colours are bright, vibrant, enchanting and stunning; the more Jake sees, the more we, the viewers, can appreciate the art of filmmaking.

The special effects are also way ahead of their time; despite 2009 not being the stone age, the way each fictional beast moves so fluently, and interacts with its dense, forest environment is incredible; this, combined with the perfect camera angles and subtle zoom ins create a layer of reality that brings this film up to a whole other level.

The sky is vast and beautiful, the grass lights up in the dark, and the way everything looks different every time you look at it is why this movie stands so tall.

As well as the Avatars, Na’vi, beasts and fauna looking phenomenal, Avatar also boasts a genuinely magical narrative, albeit with some tough facts to face.

Picture Credit: 20th Century Studios
Picture Credit: 20th Century Studios

As Jake learns more about the natives, he begins to shift his gaze towards his teacher, Naytiri. She is a beautiful creature filled with knowledge and understanding, and she, likes her people, taking the preservation and adoration of their home very seriously.

The love and beliefs the Na’vi share make Avatar one of the best films out there. Their home is a vast land filled with trees; but not any trees. Each native (and Avatars) sport a long plait of hair, the bottom of which is home to a way for them all to connect to the land, literally.

The Na’vi God is called Eywa; she is their guide and their salvation. Every connection and every, single tree or blade of grass is connected and allows them to remain one with themselves and their ancestors. It is a beautiful, stunning idea that lifts this film up and makes it almost untouchable.

These beliefs, mixed with the incredible characters and visuals create a fictional world like no other, which in turn, allows the film to focus on the true villains: humanity.

Mankind found Pandora, built on it, and (many of them) decided that the natives were rodents, something to squash if it gets in your way. Avatar shows the dark side of humans, and shows that some, not all, are willing to destroy anything they see for a few million dollars.

Sam Worthington as Jake / Picture Credit: 20th Century Studios
Sam Worthington as Jake / Picture Credit: 20th Century Studios

Grace wishes to learn from the Na’vi, to understand their beautiful connection with their homeland, but that hangs in the balance when the Colonel accepts orders to burn the native’s forests and kill their people; this film sadly shows the reality of some events, in that people will wipe out and burn down the most beautiful, intelligent things if it will earn them some money.

Avatar is host to an outstanding, stunning and clever race that hold deep beliefs in preserving life, understanding nature and those around you, as well as the good that some humans can do.

It is a story about loyalty, love, the enjoyment of life, stepping outside your comfort zone and throwing yourself into something new. There is a sense of wonder within every single second of this movie, and with characters such as Naytiri and Jake making a wonderful pair, it really is no wonder why this movie is considered one of the best feature films ever made.

Avatar shows us the best and the worst of humanity, but also showcases the wonder, adoration, beauty and creativity of cinema; it reveals to us that understanding what we don’t know isn’t a bad thing, and teaches us to care and love what is around us.

Watch the trailer for Avatar below:

Written by Melissa, who you can follow on Twitter @melissajournal

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