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Beto is a lonely man who works as Ranger of the isolated Peninsula Valdes' National Park (Chubut, Argentina). Lover of the nature and animals, the peace of his days watching orcas, seals and sea lions in the sea ends after the arrival of Lola, a Spanish mother who travels there from Madrid with his autistic 11 years old son Tristán looking for Beto after both watch him in a documentary about whales. Desperate, Lola asks help Beto in order to make a therapy for Tristán, hoping that his isolation caused by the autism can be overcome. Reluctant at the beginning, Beto agrees to help Tristán, sailing by the cost in a boat to meet orcas (defying the rules that prevent touching them and swimming them), the only one that causes emotional responses in Tristán. As days go by, Tristán starts slowly to express emotions, in the same way that Beto's boss tries to fire him in the belief that orcas are a dangerous killers whales, Lola realizes about a familiar trouble in Spain and that they Lola and ...Written by
I did not dig for detail to decide to watch this film. Just by reading the title I have come to know I should see this. But later I learnt that it was from the director of 'Brothers of the Wind' I review a year ago. They say it was the third film in the 'man and wild animal relationship' trilogy, but I've seen only this and the one I mentioned in the previous line. The other one, the first one is 'Among Wolves' that's surely I going to check it out as soon as possible.
The story revolves around a park ranger, Beto, from the remote place in the south of the Argentina. He has a special relationship with the Orcas that strays on the edge of the coast nearby a lighthouse. People come to pay to see them, but on one occasion a mother and her autistic son from Spain visit him. Initially he refused to help her, but later he changes his mind with a purpose in his mind. So the days go on and what follows after that are some unexpected development which leads to the film's conclusion.
Adapted to the screen from the novel by Roberto 'Beto' Bubas that he inspired to write by his real life event. Though initially I mean in the very first scene I thought it was so cruel. Not anybody wants to see that kind of opening. Especially not the kids or the families. If you are an animal lover, you would feel like that way as well. But very soon you will come to understand it is the way of nature and we're just a witness. Just like you watch Nat Geo and Animal Planet. Apart from that hurtful fact, the film was really good.
❝They (orcas) are my family in the sea. And I'm their friend on the coast.❞
The characters were awesome. It was a limited cast, that's because most of the film takes place in the isolated location with three main characters. Very slow narration, particularly you won't get much progression in the first half. Kind of feels like a documentary film, that focused on a national park ranger's life. But in the last half an hour everything changes. An unpredictable event comes into play to steer the narration swiftly towards the tale's climax.
At some point I thought it was another film in the 'Free Willy' series. If you had seen that trilogy + one (tetralogy) and when you see this, you would think only that way. Not just because of the man and orca relationship, but the way they presented on the screen was like directly borrowed from there. But most importantly, it was based on the real which surely erase that kind of thinking from the viewers.
It was just like any other film that portrays an autistic character. But at the beginning, it did not pay any attention to that role. The perspective of the tale was from the Beto, so he led to shaping the entire narrative, until the last moment. That's when the boy took over to bring most required reorder in the story you had seen so far to something new. They all well acted, with the beautiful locations in the front and the background. It was not a masterpiece, but definitely it is among its kind.
The direction must be praised. I really like him. He is like a travel filmmaker. Yesterday he made a European film, today a South American and tomorrow it could be an African or Asian. What I most impressed was, his films are not aimed at commercial benefits. But very artistic, and mostly factual like a documentary film with a light stroke of fantasy to add a better storyline to attract little folks. His target audience are children and the families, and obviously the animal lovers. So if you know him, his works, then you must not miss this flick. One of the satisfying films, despite not a flawless film.
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