As the second-highest grossing film of all time, there can be no arguing that Avatar has had a massive effect on many people.
However, director and writer James Cameron may not quite have anticipated the feelings of genuine depression that many people have experienced after viewing this futuristic sci-fi flick.
Many fans have commented on how the film’s depiction of the utopian world of Pandora, inhabited by peaceful, blue-skinned creatures called Na’vi,
has emphasised the contrasting negativity of our own world, with some hardcore fans even admitting to having suicidal thoughts since viewing the 3 hour-long epic.
One poster on an online forum explained how “I can’t force myself to think that it’s just a movie, and to get over it. To accept that living like the Na’vi will never happen.” It seems a film designed to divorce people from reality has in fact put some a bit too in touch with the issues of their own reality.
Ivar Hill posts to the “Avatar” forum page under the name Eltu. He wrote about his post-”Avatar” depression after he first saw the film earlier this month.
“When I woke up this morning after watching Avatar for the first time yesterday, the world seemed … gray. It was like my whole life, everything I’ve done and worked for, lost its meaning,” Hill wrote on the forum. “It just seems so … meaningless. I still don’t really see any reason to keep … doing things at all. I live in a dying world.”
Within the Avatar fan community, suggestions for battling feelings of depression after seeing the movie include things like playing “Avatar” video games or downloading the movie soundtrack, in addition to encouraging members to relate to other people outside the virtual realm and to seek out positive and constructive activities.