Review: March of the Penguins (2005)

In the harshest place on Earth, love finds a way…

It takes a lot to impress me at the movies and I speak for most people when I say that what I to know is why I just spent 10 dollars only to be mildly impressed. Seriously. The only two times I can really remember being completely enthralled at the movies was when I saw Million Dollar Baby in January and The Lion King when I was 5. This movie makes it three.

Now, my adventure to see March of the Penguins began when my big sis Kate told me showed me the preview on the web. Rarely do I anticipate any film, believing that I will only be disappointed if I expect too much, but because penguins are another one of my teeny tiny obsessions, I was excited for this movie. What made March of the Penguins so memorable was not only the film, but where I went to see it.

I spent four days last week with Kate in Washington D.C. and we wemt to see this movie, at the AFI Theater in Silver Spring.

March of the Penguins follows the Emperor penguins of Antarctica as they make an incredible and exhausting journey from the ocean to the place where they were born in order to mate and start their families. These penguins battle freezing winter storms, starvation, and sea lions all for the love of their babies. French film maker Luc Jacquet, and cinematographers Laurent Chalet and Jerome Maison, followed the Emperor penguins in their native habitat for the nine month mating season.

As I think about this documentary in retrospect, it does remind me of The Lion King. (Work with me on this one.) Aside from the obvious animal kingdom references and the notion of family, it brings an element to a film suitable for young children and that is the simple reminder that life is not easy and that not everything goes perfect. If I were seven or eight years old, the image of that cute and cuddly baby penguin frozen to death would forever be burned into my mind.

The film in the entirety is not depressing at all. In fact, it is a celebration of the animal kingdom’s ability to survive and outlast and how in certain ways the Emperor penguin, perhaps the most majestic bird on Earth, is like humans, searching for family and happiness. It is a breathtaking film that leaves a lasting impression on anyone who watches it. Believe me it is worth the 10 dollars to see in the theaters, unlike that latest Tom Cruise vehicle that shall remain nameless. And the added bonus is that you get to spend 80 minutes listening to narrator Morgan Freeman’s dreamy voice.

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