March Of The Penguins

aka LA MARCHE DE L’EMPEREUR
Movie Review by Ania Kalinowska

Starring: Morgan Freeman (narrator)
Director: Luc Jacquet

If this were a typical film set, thousands of pounds would be spent on renting and dry-cleaning an immense quantity of tuxedos. If the stars were human, they would freeze to death in this attire. There would be months without any food (the no-food policy means that money could be used for the tux rental…)! Actually, I doubt any volunteers could be persuaded to do the project in the first place – not even a struggling performer would attempt this fare. But then this is no ordinary movie.

Enter the Emperor Penguin, a peculiarly odd creature, in his unforgiving journey to somewhere very near the pits of hell (by anybody’s standards). As sure as hell sizzles with heat, Antarctica blasts with blizzards and chills with cold. The only animal crazy enough to undertake several marches through this terrain in order to produce a single egg (that’s one egg which often doesn’t hatch!) is a bird who cannot fly. Go figure.

MARCH OF THE PENGUINS shows us a fascinating tale of death, life and love against all odds. The unlikely ‘actors’ aren’t even aware that they’re being filmed, making this the kind of perfect real-life drama that us human folk only wish we could match in performance.

Set against the backdrop of a vast snow-white netherworld that sends shivers of awe down your spine, the striking cinematography glides gracefully as the penguins waddle to their fate. This superbly filmed documentary is as informative as it is breathtaking, for the images of raw nature that you see here have been well organised to please both eye and inherent curiosity. An ideal match for fussy movie-goers, a film that is as insightful as it is beautiful! The story (narrated by Morgan Freeman) is gripping because the subject itself provides so much to work with. There is humour, adventure, action, suspense and even teary-eyed drama, but beyond it all, this version of timelessly scripted nature is, in one word, awesome.

While fans of nature programs on telly will be delighted, even people who have no regular interest in such matters will enjoy this wintry hit.

Although no penguin is going to snap up a best actor award for this, these birds should be getting your vote at the box office! Skip the humdrum dose of films on show and check this one out.

5 out of 6 stars

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