I liked this quite a bit but I didn't love love love it like I was hoping. I was reminded a bit of an earlier Herzog doc, Wheel of Time. Both of these films are in essence about a spirtual journey - one about Buddhism and the other about science. Herzog's usual pessimistic take on the world mixes well with his oddball interviewing skills. The underwater footage is indeed breathtaking.
So I'm not quite sure why I didn't adore this movie. Maybe it was because some of Herzog's questions and narration seemed somewhat mean-spirited in this film.
Or maybe it was that it simply seemed that Herzog was merely along for the ride in a similar way that he was in Wheel of Time. The Herzog documentaries I have enjoyed the most (Little Dieter Needs to Fly and The White Diamond to name two) are Herzog led all the way. This film was just a series of interesting diving footage and quirky people living in Antarctica mixed with Herzog's narration and hypnotic music - both human made and seal made. There's nothing wrong with that of course. This movie is very very good but I did find myself bored on occasion. I wanted a transcendent movie experience like my 2005 favorite, The White Diamond. It is still quite good. It just is not going to be my favorite film of the year like I was hoping it might be when I first read about it.
Directed by Werner Herzog
2007, U.S. Release: 2008
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