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This is a "must watch". Even if you aren't a nature film fan, this charming well made movie is worth the investment of time. It clocks in at a sprightly hour and a half, which flies past like an eagle chasing its prey.
I generally find Alexander McCall Smith's novels 9and the series made from them - No. 1 Ladies Detective Club) a bit too precious. No question though that he knows, and loves, South Africa.
His script for this mock documentary, narrated by Paul Newman in what seems to have been his final performance, teeters on the edge of cliché and sentimentality, but never topples over. The narrative line of personalizing the story of one young meerkat to tell the tale of the Kalahari, of dessert life, and the cycle of life, works effectively, and to my mind, makes this a superior and more accessible movie than March of the Penguins.
The excellent score sets a tone, and a pace, which matches the story perfectly, and gives a sense of place. No soaring Beethoven or Mahler here. Real sounds of Africa. Done by a young English folk singer. Amazing.
What blew me away most though was the cinematography and editing. I can't get over the shots that James Honeycombe and his crew captured in their six month mission, and condensed into a stunning visual.
Please, watch this movie.
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