Saturday, June 19, 2010

Movie Thoughts: The Cove

**This was actually an assignment for school, to review a documentary. I'm not sure if you'll notice, but I put a lot of effort into this, and the restriction was one page only!... then I found out it was a complete/incomplete thing #fml

From the opening credits to the closing statements, 2009 documentary film, The Cove, unfolds not unlike a spy movie and exposes the appalling dolphin slaughter taking place in Taiji, Japan. Producers Fisher Stevens and Paula Pesmen, along with Director Louie Psihoyos, undoubtedly brought a previously unknown issue to the forefront of our minds.

The Cove succeeds in tugging at your heartstrings; the wails and shrieks of frightened dolphins will surely echo in your ears as you watch the cruel captures and slaughter methods being carried out. By revealing the horrors these dolphins face, viewers cannot help but sympathize with these intelligent creatures. Accompanied by a bitter and emotional narration, the addition of an overwhelming number of gruesome statistics adds authenticity and a healthy dose of realism—especially when concerning the food controversies.

From the haunting melodies playing during aerial ocean scenes to the suspenseful beat during the espionage-like events, background music keeps the audience utterly engaged. The advanced gizmos used by the activists will surely have some appeal to the younger generation, the very people who will play a crucial role in future efforts to save these animals.

Careful editing in this documentary enhances its message, from the zoom-in on the Japanese representative’s ugly smirk at the International Whaling Committee when poorer countries support their brutal causes, to the waves of red crashing against the rocks after a long day of murders. Such images imprint themselves on the viewers’ mind, searing a scar of both anger and sadness.

Going into this, I didn’t know what to expect, and getting my mind blown into a thousand tiny pieces sure is a good outcome. With a well-deserved Oscar and Writer’s Guild Award for Best Documentary Feature under its belt, there is little doubt that The Cove has delivered its message in a concise and passionate manner. By uncovering the slaughter of innocent animals, it allows the world to take its first steps toward change, a single dolphin at a time. 4 out of 4 stars.


PS- have you seen this before? If so, what are your thoughts? Also, do you have a favorite documentary, or one you strongly reccommend?


  1. I loved this film!! So much better than what you expect when you hear "documentary."

    Very good review (:

  2. I've totally been wanting to watch this movie! Dolphins were my favorite animal when I was a kid. I know I'd probably get upset watching it, but I still have to watch it at some point. Thanks for reviewing it!

  3. I don't think I can watch this but I appreciate your review. It's a powerful film.

  4. mdonaldrenee- I agree, it really exceeded my expectations. thank you!

    Kris- it's pretty graphic, I definitely got upset watching it :(

    Alyssa- I agree, powerful is definitely the right word. the content isn't for everyone though, i can see where you're coming from

  5. OO god, I think I would be ill after watching this. Growing up in an area with dophins..I probably would fall ill.

    I seems as one of those that will inspire change

  6. There are some scenes that are definitely really hard to stomach, and I agree, I think a movie like thsi can have a big effect on people. thanks for the comment :)


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