Oh wow! I just got back from a preview of Wild Ocean. It’s breath-taking!
I’ve never written a movie review before, but hey there’s a first time for everything. I’ll try!
Wild Ocean is a documentary about the annual fishing frenzy that happens every year off the coast of South Africa. Billions of sardines make their way up the coast and the dolphins, birds, seals, sharks, and humans are right there to get in on the action. And what action! Imagine swirling “bait balls” of fish (one review likens it to a huge underwater beehive), gracefully swimming dolphins, menacing shark attacks, and birds plunging from dizzying heights to thump down into the ocean to spear their prey.
Go check out the trailer here!
Now imagine all of that on a 5 storey screen and the powerful sound system that defines the IMAX experience!
As you can see, the film has a very strong environmental message. The smooth-voiced narrator tells us about how the local people have put fishing limits upon themselves, and about how important marine preserves are to maintain this circle of life that is vital to everyone. Wild Ocean is not just about the fish, but about the people who rely on them, and how those people take the survival of the fish very seriously. But this documentary isn’t entirely serious — some of my favourite scenes contain the beautiful dancing and singing of the locals. While the environmental message is strong, it is definitely not heavy-handed.
Another star of the movie is the music. The creators of the percussion-based performance group STOMP did the music to this film, and it’s clear that they know how to tell a story through music. It lifts you up, gets your heart pounding, and then changes direction to tell another part of the story.
I was really impressed with Wild Ocean, and I think it’s excellent for all ages. Little ones will like the fish and love the dive-bombing birds, and adults will be swept away with the music and the vast landscapes. And despite this being a documentary about hunting, it is exciting without being too scary for anyone too sensitive.
Wild Ocean opens tomorrow at the Kramer IMAX Theatre. Among other show times, it’s playing all weekend at 8pm if you’d like to take a date!