James Cameron's 3D sci-fi romp Avatar appears to have deeply affected some cinemagoers who've found that life on Earth doesn't measure up to the prospect of living on utopian world Pandora.
CNN reports that net forums are awash with dark musings on the impossibility of visiting the virtual planet, with those most deeply touched even pondering shuffling off this mortal coil if they can't book a ticket to a new life off-world.
One poster writes on Avatar-Forums.com, under the heading "Depressions and thoughts of suicide": "I just watched avatar a few weeks ago and I'm feeling depressed and sad. It's like I want to reach out and be in Pandora. I'd do anything to be in Pandora. I've tried so hard to dream about me being on Pandora but it hasn't worked.
"I hate my life and I could go on so much more about it. Well, at least on the internet I am anonymous and no-one can touch me.
"No, I don't want to seek professional help. Don't even go down that road."
Another says on the thread "Ways to cope with the depression of the dream of Pandora being intangible": "Well I went into the movie yesterday thinking I was just going to see a sci-fi romp. Little did I know it would change my life forever. I sat in the theater after it was over just stunned, and then I began to cry. I was ripped apart with feelings I had never had before, hate for myself and my species, hate for my capitalistic and worthless society, and a feeling of such despair that I would never be able to know the Na’vi or their superior culture and way of life."*
Down at fan site Naviblue, a troubled soul offered: "Ever since I went to see 'Avatar' I have been depressed. Watching the wonderful world of Pandora and all the Na'vi made me want to be one of them. I can't stop thinking about all the things that happened in the film and all of the tears and shivers I got from it. I even contemplate suicide thinking that if I do it I will be rebirthed in a world similar to Pandora and the everything is the same as in 'Avatar.'"
Avatar-Forums.com forum administrator, Philippe Baghdassarian, told CNN: "I wasn't depressed myself. In fact the movie made me happy. 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."
Yes, it's a bit of a bummer. And here, according to "likeadream", is the solution to the Pandora blues:
- see it again and again and again in the theater
- the sound track (I ripped the CD, cleared winamp's playlist, enabled looping and pressed play; I stopped counting the loop on sometime after 50th play)
- read the extra books (field guide, etc.)
- browse and edit the wiki
- participate in forum discussions
- rewatch trailer(s)
likeadream concludes: "Because, at this point, there isn't pretty much anything else that can be done. Until the release of DVD/BluRay. But even that won't take away all of the depression. Because you know you can never actually go to Pandora, as it exists only in our imagination... sigh... :("
Alternatively, try Itsonlyafilm23's advice:
I have recently read on another web page that people on this site are saying that they are depressed and have also contemplated suicide after watching avatar. Im sorry but why? Dont people realise that this is just a film? Not to be taken seriously! I am not having a dig at anyone who is or has suffered with depression, because i know first hand that depression is not nice at all. I understand people saying that pandora would be a nice place to live and its guttin that earth isnt like that. Personally im glad it aint. Who the hell would wants big ass rhino type creatures storming after you everyday of the week.
I really feel that some people should get a grip. I personally thought the film was brilliant and would definately watch it again. it just saddens me that people have to take things to the next extreme about having withdrawls and needing to cope after seeing the film. If people think this world is so shitty and pandora is sooooo much better, go live in the woods with no technology or anything else and see which life you prefer. Again i am not having a dig at anyone, i just think that it is really sad when people take films like this too seriously!!
Quite so. ®
* This one is worth reproducing in full. It continues:
I was there just thinking and crying for about 15 minutes before an usher asked me to leave. I told him I never wanted to leave and he was confused for a second. Then he said I had to go and if I wanted to see this “crappy movie” again I’d have to pay for another ticket. Well to cut to the chase it got a bit heated at that point and we ended up in a shoving match. The police officer who took me out of there didn’t seem to care either. When I told him he was a tool of an oppressive society that is destroying the world he laughed at me. Now I’ve got a charge against me for public disturbance but I don’t care. Hopefully that jerk usher got fired.
The next day I saw it at a different theater in 3d. All of a sudden the world was as real as my own. At the end I stood up and started telling the people that they were the bad guys and were killing the Na’vi everyday with their western society. I said look at Afghanistan! I got cussed out and had a soda thrown on me but I wore those like a badge of honor, I felt like a Na’vi standing against human oppression and sickness. I just wished I had a weapon at that point and could have fought like Jake did. Jake was so strong. I began to wish that I could be like a new Hitler, only instead of exterminating one race I’d do the whole human race then shoot myself at the end. My mom always said I get too wrapped up in this stuff but she is an idiot who is just as much part of the problem as every other American. I told her when I got home and she cried but I don’t care anymore, I’m 35 and I can do what I want in my room and don’t have to take any “medicine” if I don’t want to. Did the Na’vi take pills to “get better” Did the Indians? Nope. I just wish I could stop thinking of this; it’s more than a movie. My Mom used to think I was too into WoW but that was just a game. I quit playing and told my guild wife there to just forget me. This feels real, that is just stupid now. I don't even really want to go into work.