Monday, August 01, 2005
March of the Penguins
I knew literally nothing about this film going into it, aside from the fact that it was a documentary about penguins and that everyone who had seen it seemed to love it. There are very few films that live up to such hype for me, and while this one didn't exactly live up to the hype, I still acknowledge that it's really an astounding film.
The filmmakers follow hundreds (thousands?) of Emperor penguins in Antarctica through their 8-month mating ritual. The lengths these penguins go to to survive and propagate their species is absolutely amazing. I don't want to go too far into details, because I think part of the power of the film is seeing the events up close.
The main flaws in the movie are that the narration is just a little too precious (despite being read by Morgan Freeman), and that there are couple of what I felt were unnecessary scares. The movie isn't really something children would get into anyway, but there are some things that made me question the G rating.
I don't think this film is necessarily "Oscar material" (whatever that means), but it is an amazing story. I think it works well on film, too, giving the viewer a lasting impression of the penguins' intimidating surroundings. And every single shot of the baby penguins will make your heart melt. It's a real testament to the will of these creatures to survive.