Okay, okay, I know I swore I'd had my last word on the subject of James Cameron's sci-fi epic, but like Al Pacino in The Godfather: Part III -- just when I think I'm out, they pull me back in.
In any case, there's interesting and alarming news about the film, and I don't mean the fact that it just officially grossed one billion dollars.
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.
On the fan forum site "Avatar Forums," a topic thread entitled "Ways to cope with the depression of the dream of Pandora being intangible," has received more than 1,000 posts from people experiencing depression and fans trying to help them cope. The topic became so popular last month that forum administrator Philippe Baghdassarian had to create a second thread so people could continue to post their confused feelings about the movie.
"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."
I really don't know quite how to react to that, although to be honest, I had a similar experience after witnessing Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes a few weeks ago. Real life just seemed so weary, flat, stale and unprofitable by comparison. In any case, I thought I ought to warn the three or four of you out there who haven't yet put the 3D glasses on -- this movie may hazardous to your psychological health. Act accordingly.
Seriously, though, I need to add one final postscript here. Once and for all, and for the record, I never really thought that Avatar was or was going to be, as I've said on several occasions, The Worst Movie Ever Made©.
I realize that Pete Hamill was right when he said it's always dangerous to employ irony in a Third World country, but from the beginning I was dissing the film mostly as a way of poking fun at James Cameron's messianic pretensions (power corrupts King of the World directors as much as the rest of us) and the whole fanboy hoo-hah surrounding it. Which is to say I understand the difference between a superficially similar genre piece like Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen -- self-evidently irredeemable crap -- and Avatar -- a flawed but wildy and admirably ambitious work by a genuine auteur.
Are we clear on that?