15 July 2010 | DICK STEEL
A Nutshell Review: Oceans
Making its world premiere at last year's Tokyo International Film Festival, Oceans is the latest enviro-documentary to hit the big screens, highlighting that while outer space is touted as the final frontier to be conquered by man, the waters around our land mass hold just as much fascination with the countless of species available in the depths of the ocean. Oceans, by directors Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud, provide us that glimpse 20,000 leagues under the sea.
For those, like me, who are absolutely clueless about the sea creatures other than what can be put on the dining table, you'll be left quite flabbergasted as you observe the various species being featured on screen, without any prompt or subtitle to label just exactly what creature they are. Of course for those who are schooled by Finding Nemo, you're likely to be able to name some of what's featured, just as the noisy young boy sitting beside me was able to, being somewhat of a help.
Aside from the usual gorgeous cinematography featuring schools of dolphins in motion, and plenty of synchronized swimming, with creatures big and small ranging from the giant whales to the newly hatched turtles struggling to make it to the waters before being picked up mercilessly by their predators, this is one documentary that allows you to go up close to these creatures since cameras were planted into the depths of all the oceans of the world.
It doesn't come across as preachy, because it doesn't wear its ecological badge in such an obvious manner at all in its sparse narrative. Instead, it does so very subtly, reminding us that there are others with whom we share this Earth with, and if we continue to plunder and pollute the land and treat the sea as sewage (so is that gaping hole capped by BP already?), then these are the creatures that we will lose in the near future, causing a major upset in the balance of Nature, and who can predict how Nature's wrath will be incurred back on us.
Nature documentaries are no longer made for the small screen, but have some mighty budget to be able to bring quality to the making of such films, serving to entertain and to capture beauty so rarely seen.