by Aziza Khalil
Warning: this review is a bit of a spoiler if you haven’t watched the movie already.
Last Saturday, I went to see the infamous Avatar movie. I’ve been trying to see that movie ever since it came out in Cairo approximately ten days ago. And every time I did, it was full. So Subhan’Allah, maybe I wasn’t supposed to watch it before Saturday because I wouldn’t have had the same impression I have now. Maybe my state of mind wasn’t ready to assimilate what I was about to see.
Jake Sully is your typical character everyone can identify with: broken, hurt and lost – but also intelligent and determined. He’s escaping something. He’s escaping his handicap and his brother’s loss. When Jake looks at his avatar, he knows he is about to embark into a new world. This made me wonder about the whole avatar concept. Aren’t we, as human souls, living in a body that’s ours and our responsibility? Isn’t a body without a soul lifeless? Yes, you can be fascinated by the movie, but it won’t be from the iMax or 3D Experience. You can have your very own experience.
He was told to “let your mind go blank” as he entered into a machine that looks like a tomb. Imagine yourself in his shoes – we close our eyes and we wake up.
Welcome to Dunya. A place where everything was created by Allah, and perfectly so. Look at your hands and feet. This is your body – take good care of it for it is your responsibility to do so. Look around you. Nature is perfect. Allah put everything in perfect balance and ordered us not to transgress it and not to sow corruption on earth. But Dunya is not your final stop (our mind really went blank!) It is the place where your soul remembers (dhikr) its Lord, the covenant:
“And [mention] when your Lord took from the children of Adam – from their loins – their descendants and made them testify of themselves, [saying to them], “Am I not your Lord?” They said, “Yes, we have testified.” [This] – lest you should say on the day of Resurrection, “Indeed, we were of this unaware.” (7:172)
We have forgotten where we come from. We have forgotten that this life is much like Avatar. This is only a stop for what’s about to come. Do you know that dunya means “to reach out for grapes?” We have to look at the world, this Dunya, and experience nostalgia and a desire to return home (the Garden, our final abode for us all insha’Allah – God willing!)
Sooner or later we will wake up in a machine, just like Jake Sully did. But this time, it’s our tomb.
Avatar was useful in a way which is to imitate Jake Sully and the Na’vi (call them aliens all you want but as soon as I saw and heard them, all I could think about was colonization, African tribes and Native Americans) in standing up for the truth and not destroying the earth. Allah ordered us to do so.
If you ask me, Avatar wasn’t a science fiction movie, it was real life put in a pretty colorful frame.