There is nothing more cinematic than water, so far at least as things you can directly capture with a camera. The implications are numerous, vastness, voyage, deep clarity, flows and undercurrents. But it seems we cannot fully make sense of abstract things without a human story wrapped in their fabric, in fact it seems to be the reason we make any dive into liquid unknowns, to solidify who we are in the vast expanse.
The story here is of two divers who pushed each other to go deeper on a single breath of air. The 'document' as it were is less of the technical minutiae of their record-breaking efforts, and more about the internal aspects of the journey, which fits with my own viewing patterns.
One guy we see swim in training with his loved one, really marvelous footage of them gliding together in underwater ballet. The other pursues quietness and depth of breath through pranayama and meditation, lies still in the bottom of the sea as minutes roll by.
The contrast is partially between their methods. The first used assistance from technical means to descend to depths where atmospheric pressure constricts your lungs to the size of an orange and dislocates the heart, the other swam down there unaided. Both are photographed on dives that carried the implicit understanding they may be their last ones.
Deep down, there is a poem here of sorts on passionate involvement of any kind. It is not strictly the story of achievement, though is is cinematic and so is the ocean. The cinematic model used to convey both story- and ocean-world - including wholesale the underwater ballet - is oddly enough the 1950's horror film Creature from the Black Lagoon which can also be said to be the same poem.
Two worlds here, the one above water one of planning and preparation, whose noise it helps to filter out. The other is one of deep and concentrated immersion, but would it be anything if you were not tethered to the surface by love and connection?
Too bad the filmmaker as visual narrator imposes on these things with artificially-aided prettiness in the Koyannisqatsi mode. The quest is for natural harmony, but the process of visually defining that harmony defeats its very nature.
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