“I’m interested in the impact my movies have on people and how it affects them, and what they like and what they don’t like- and what they take away from it. What leaves an impression you know?” – Thomas Jane, actor.
Movies are entertainment for the masses. Nobody says no to a good movie with a great plot, stunning actors and a happy ending. But, some movies are more than that; are more than what they seem to be. These movies take what seems like a mainstream story and discreetly insert environmental messages into its layers. In some, the green message is all you can see, and in others, it is lurking in the backdrop.
For example, the 2009 James Cameron helmed Avatar. It is an important movie not only because it is the highest grossing movie of all time, but because it shines the spotlight on one of the most critical issues we face today: climate change, environmental degradation, declining health due to pollution, and the list is quite endless.
In Avatar, James Cameron directs the movie so skilfully that we find ourselves sympathising with the indigenous and disliking the humans who are trying to take over their land…until we realise that we ourselves are doing the same thing to our own home. We are the villains in our story.
Avatar sends a powerful message in terms of what kind of situation the Earth will be in, a few centuries from now on. Thankfully, this masterpiece is not the only movie on the list.
Here are 6 other movies that glow with a green message:
The Lorax is a delightful animated version of Dr.Seuss’ popular book of the same name. It tells the story of the Once-ler, who in blind greed, cuts down an entire forest and eco system to make his business prosper and reach new heights and little boy who tries to undo this mistake.
The movie quickly spirals into a thrilling adventure of a cat and mouse chase in the attempt to save the last surviving seed.
If you haven’t seen this movie, it’s a must watch for children and adults alike.
This 2000 movie based on the real life experiences of Erin Brockovich isn’t exactly an environmentally based film; however it shows the devastating effects of pollution and chemical waste on animal and human health.
With Julia Roberts in the lead, this movie is a winner on all accounts.
As the title suggests, 2012 showcases the famous Mayan prediction that the world will come to an end in the year 2012.
It is perhaps one of the most watched movies after Avatar which deals directly with the environment. The movie brings out the poignancy in human nature in the face of survival. With superb CGI effects, it will bring you to the edge of your seat in excitement and anticipation. It delivers the whole package.
The Mayans may have gotten their prediction wrong about the year, but to put it bluntly, we are giving mother earth a slow and painful death.
Moana has the genius of Walt Disney Animation Studios with the voice of Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson. That should be ample reason to watch the movie. Although, there must be a few people who haven’t watched this beauty, if you already have, watch it again.
This time, focus on the smaller stuff. Notice the subtle references to how the earth is slowly slipping into the same state as the island Moana is so desperately trying to save.
Imagine, if the Goddess Te Fiti actually existed and became the red eyed demoness in her anguish and rage, tried to wreck the world apart.
Yeah, I wouldn’t like that much either. Also, the very sexy Maui is a crude representation of what us humans think about our technological progress and inventions. To Maui, his actions are justified in trying to bring glory to the lesser beings and playing hero. That didn’t turn out too well did it?
Now where have I heard of a similar story of people going out their way to make life easier and instead ended up turning the green, green earth all brown and wasted?
Keep your tissue box ready for this one. Wall-E is the story of a lonely robot that is responsible for cleaning up the e-waste that was left behind on earth when the humans packed up and left to go and exploit other resources.
The sheer amount of electrical waste it desperately tries to clean is eye-popping. And then to realise that if Pixar really wanted to make the movie look as authentic as possible, it needn’t have worked so hard on the animation. All they had to do was shoot the movie in an e-waste dump in some corner of a third world country. Same thing, really.
Surely everyone has watched this adorable emperor penguin starring offering from Warner Bros. But did you pay attention to the scene where one of the penguins ends up choking on a manmade item in innocent curiosity.
This is the reality of marine life that is constantly dying due to the waste that is being thrown into the oceans and they surface to the shore with their bodies stuffed with plastic.
With peppy songs and over the top cute penguins, this movie is a must watch for everyone. And if you have already seen it, well, watch it again. At least for the penguins who will soon be extinct.