Friday, 12 February 2010

The Cove: DVD Review

The Cove: DVD Review

The Cove
Rating: M
Released by Madman Entertainment
Sometimes a film knocks you sideways in ways you couldn't imagine.

Following a relatively low key success on the festival front and in the arthouse cinemas, this National Geographic photographer Louie Psihoyos doco finally hits the DVD shelves.
The Cove is a remarkably restrained piece about the lengths gone to for the capture of dolphins to populate the world's dolphinariums. A group of activists decide enough is enough and set about exposing the lengths the Japanese will go to to capture young dolphins at a secret Cove in the west of the country. But as they try to get footage from the killing fields, they're blocked at every turn and have to resort to subterrean subterfuge to achieve their goal.
Granted, a film which says it is unashamedly activist is likely to make some think it'll be a stringing together of sensationalist emotional material aimed at turning you against the Japanese.
However, with such powerful footage and content, you won't help but feel the call to action as the final credits roll.
It "stars" former Flipper trainer Ric O'Barry who is now trying to stop the capture of dolphins in Japan for entertainment purposes - his eloquence and measured behaviour is a real jolt to the senses when you realise he spent 10 years training Flipper before realising what damage he'd done and how he'd condemned a species to a life inside and at our entertainment mercy.
This is heartbreaking viewing but not because of one disturbing scene which shows the Japanese at work in the cove - and quite frankly that scene needs to be seen because there really is no option for them to deny what they do.
It's a dose of reality in a thrilling piece of documentary making which is a kind of aquatic Mission Impossible. Just don't be surprised if you feel galvanized into action at the end.
Extras: Theatrical trailer, Outtakes and more hidden camera footage from the group's attempt to infiltrate, audio commentary with director Louie Psihoyos, study guide add to this release's essential film-making.

Rating: 8/10

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