Oceans Movie

What a missed opportunity.

The movie ‘Oceans‘, a Disney Nature film, opened on April 22, Earth Day in North America. It opened in Europe back in late January. It has spectacular underwater sequences mostly of fish, seals, dolphins and whales, from all over the world. The film crews did truly amazing and creative camera work to get what they did. It cost $66 million (US) to make, and it has already earned at least that much.

Jacques Perrin's film 'Oceans' is a technological wonder

But what is the intent of the film? The sequences are all very brief, stories are left untold, themes are left undeveloped, and the narration (well read by Pierce Brosnan) is shallow and uninformative. Why?

The film seems to assume that we are ignorant that there is anything beneath the surface of the seas, and that when we are shown what beauty and grace there is among those that swim in the sea, we will realize that we need to act now in some way to help to preserve them. It is as if we are expected to inhale the remarkable sequences, think of the narration as poetry, and find new resolve to save the oceans.

but what is it really about?

But surely we are long past that. Who hasn’t by now seen fine, if not as unusual views of similar animals? After all these years, we don’t need to be told once again that living things are beautiful, complex, and possibly endangered. The film does give about five of its 90 minutes to mentioning some of the great issues – pollution, wasteful bycatch, melting Arctic ice – but they pass quickly, vaguely, barely disturbing the sheen of beauty.

This is all so aggravating because almost all coastal and oceanic marine communities are under such current stress. It seems simply irresponsible to produce a film like this in this century. Here was an opportunity to make a difference, to disturb us.

Still, see the film if you have chance, just don’t expect to be asked to think. Consider ear phones and a favorite playlist to replace the vapid narration. Perhaps enjoy a pre-film joint. Then settle back to enjoy the view.

...what a film this could have been

Meanwhile the whole world is watching the colossal catastrophic oil drilling disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. That’s the true 21st Century reality.


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