March of the Penguins
- Luc Jacquet
- Reviewed by
- Josť Ruiloba a.k.a. Morris
- Review date
- Wednesday, March 22, 2006
The movie follows an entire ďseasonĒ in the life of Emperor penguins in Antarctica, one of the coldest and most dangerous places in the world. I donít really want to go into detail about what it is that these penguins do, but Iíll just say that their life spins around the desire to get a mate and procreate. This may sound easy as it reads, yet it is anything but. You have to consider that penguins need to hatch their eggs in a place where the ice wonít break, and that place happens to be quite far away from the ocean, which is where penguins feed. Add temperature, predators and age, and the equation becomes more complicated.
Why is this documentary better than any respectable TV show about animals? Itís simple: its heart. After youíve learnt what these penguins do in order to have and protect their chicks you will never see these animals the same way. I could swear they behave like humans, even better. The feelings they have are so alive and so deep that I wanted to cry every time the narrator said anything resembling ďbut some of them wonít make it.Ē This is a movie that gets you deep. And the fact that a bunch of animals which we canít even recognize from each other can exude such compassion says a lot about them and the filmmakers who documented their quest.
After the doc was over I just wanted to see one thing: the behind-the scenes of it all. How director Luc Jacquet and his entire crew managed to shoot such a beautiful and penetrating story in those conditions marvels me. It really does feel as if the penguins were his actors and it was all staged. But it isnít, itís all real; real life at its finest and crudest and most touching.
The film has great cinematography by Laurent Chalet and Jerome Maison, accompanied by a haunting Alex Wurman score (for its US version) and the always spot-on narration by none other than Morgan Freeman, speaking the words written by Jordan Roberts.
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Other reviews of March of the Penguins (2005): Groucho