Review: To the Arctic — the story of a mother’s love

IMAX movies thrive on presenting the world in all its natural magnificence. They are the documentary-maker’s highest point of execution, allowing cinematographers the ability to show a much wider panoramic view of the world they painstakingly record on film to the world, and ultimately driving a message of love for the planet we live in. And so the Omni-Theatre’s latest offering, To the Arctic, does splendid work of achieving just such an effect.

You are first greeted with a spectacular panorama of a melting glacier, its facade interrupted at nearly measured intervals of magnificent waterfalls. The scene seems like such a magnificent work of nature, until we are told that the waterfalls are the result of global warming; in other words, the glaciers are bleeding, and we are the cause.

In between shots of walrus communities and migrating caribou, the movie’s focus falls mostly on a mother polar bear and her two cubs, their experiences of huddling together on drifting ice platforms, hunting for the rare meal, and escaping the danger of a starving predator male polar bear. For this is much more than just a documentary of our fast-disappearing North Pole; it is the inspiring story of a mother who would do anything — die, even — just so her children can live on.

Arguably, no other screen than the Omni-Theatre’s seamless five-storey high dome will beckon you to turn your head left and right in an attempt to fully absorb the magnificent scenery. You are as good as right there in the Arctic, simple as that. Flying over the melting glaciers, mingling with the caribou as they feed on the Alaskan plains, and watching the polar bears take flight at the sign of danger.

Over a soundtrack dominated by Paul McCartney, and narration by award-winning actress Meryl Streep, To the Arctic leaves you absolutely breathless, and your children will undoubtedly fall in love with the polar bears. It might actually even beat watching our own resident polar bear splashing around at the Singapore Zoo, if not for the sheer drama that can never be captured with an animal in captivity.

To the Arctic is now showing at The Omni-Theatre until 31 January 2012. Ticketing details and showtimes can be found here:

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Our staff aims to Discover and review family friendly activities and places that never bores kids.