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Old 01-03-2012, 12:16 PM
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Default Falling in Love - Avatar Style

So in my eccentric wanderings of the mind, one of random insights that popped through, was considering the ‘message’ that Avatar presents on the process of ‘falling in love’.

Most tend to think of falling in love with as a whole gambit of showing ‘serious’ interest in another, pretty much right from the start. But really if we look at how ‘love’ comes to be in Avatar, in fact it does not fit this stereotypical notion of how couples come to be in love.

I’m presenting the list of steps below as they happen in Avatar, which is meant to be seen in a ‘or vice-versa’ role meaning it could just have easily been gender reversed. By all means I’m not presenting this as a completely ‘realistic’ way of how love happens, and actually the main point that was traipsing through my mind was how so many forget that ‘playfulness’, more typical of the adolescent stage, is actually a pretty common pattern as two individuals come to know each other and recognize that they have feelings for each other, but haven't yet figured out how to express those feelings. During this stage feelings are more often displayed in such things as soft pranks – such as represented in Avatar by.. Neytiri soaring from a tree branch down to the ground, and daring Jake to follow, Neytiri slapping Jake across the head, when he makes mistakes in learning Na’vi, or laughing at him when he falls off the Dire Horse into the mud, or slapping Jake when getting him to learn to use the bow and arrow.

So what does falling in love look like in Avatar?

1. Girl spots boy, first instinct is to want to ‘kill’ him or ‘nothing to do with him’
2. Something ‘floats’ into girls consciousness that causes her to ‘pause’ and reconsider
3. Boy gets himself into a situation, girl steps in to intervene
4. Girl show her disdain for boy’s stupidity
5. Boy responds to girls disdain by pointing out the obvious, ‘why did she help him then’
6. Girl admits that there is ‘something’ to the boy, but still considers boy a ‘child’
7. An unexpected ‘magical moment’ occurrence, causes girl to pause and reconsider boy as a new friend.
8. Girl decides to introduce boy to meet her parents, family, circle of peers
9. Girl’s circle of peers, give boy a hard time, rough him up a bit
10. Girls parents assess boy, father wrinkles nose, has even more disdain than his daughter,
(protective nature of father, sizing the boy up, and putting the boy in his place)
11. Girls mother assesses boy, acknowledges that boy has qualities,
12. Girls mother encourages daughter to consider boy as 'more than a friend' girl outcries at mom's interference
13. Girl starts to involve boy in activities of ‘her’ life
14. Girls peer group continues to think of boy as a ‘outsider’, laugh, jeer and give him a hard time
15. Girl behaviour towards boy is a mixture of disdain, humour, impatience,
16. Girl reflects this mixture with occasional ‘physical’ movements of jabs, pokes, or slaps
17. Boy admiration of girl grows as he participates or witnesses her skills and capacities
18. Girl attitude towards boy begins to change to one of admiration and slow building respect
19. Girls feelings towards boy become more openly affectionate
20. Girls attitude now becomes disdainful towards her ‘peer’s’ at their continued behaviour of giving boy a hard time
21. Boy passes through series of tests, girl becomes his friend and supporter
22. Closeness develops between boy and girl, and feelings of mutual affinity are evident
23. Girl and boy begin to have more ‘playful’ sharing of time together
24. Boy passes through a ‘rite of passage’
25. Girl and Boy express their interest and deeper feelings for each other,
26. Boy and girl ‘affirm’ their love
27 Boy and girl have a 'falling out' and subsequent break up
28 Boy does something 'daring' and out of character to win girl back, succeeds
29. Unlike the 'fairy tale endings', Camerons' twist .. is that then boy and girl go out and change the world, fight against injustice, willing to sacrifice their lives for a greater cause
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Last edited by Mika; 01-03-2012 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 01-03-2012, 05:46 PM
Fan Lizard's Avatar
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Beautiful analysis, Mika! I noticed some of these steps while watching the movie (again and again ) but I could never have explained them so well
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:11 PM
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Yeah, I agree, this is actually really nice.
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Old 01-04-2012, 02:50 AM
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I don't think anyone can say love ever happens in a 'typical' way. There are too many different possibilities and histories. People meet randomly, people were looking for each other, one was looking for someone while the other wasn't, people don't get on but come to like each other, long time friendship before love, love without prior friendship. They all happen.
Yes, some are far more represented in fiction and some (perhaps not the same ones) more common in real life than others.

It's a rare one, certainly, but not really implausible.
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Old 01-04-2012, 03:15 AM
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Nice analysis Mika!
It's interesting to look that deeply into the stages of Jake and Neytiri's relationship.
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Old 01-04-2012, 03:30 AM
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Good post. Fate sure had a wacky way of throwing our lovers together in the film!
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