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BMZ Review: Lions 3D: Roar of the Kalahari
By Paula Tagle

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Although it appears to be roaring, this lion is actually yawning. Photo credit: June Liversedge.

Lions 3D: Roar of the Kalahari
Written by: Paula Tagle
Source: Big Movie Zone
Date: May 2, 2007

     

Category: Reviews

Director Tim Liversedge's Lions 3D: Roar of the Kalahari details the daily dramas of a trio of lions, a male leader and his two lionesses.  Reformatted for 3D, Lions contains an exceptional story focusing solely on the animals within the Kalahari.  A transformation into 3D accentuates the visual allure of the film, but the trials of an old lion and his two mates prove enthralling enough.  Although a nice addition, 3D viewing isn't necessary to experience the awe and admiration deserving to this poignant story.

The film opens in the dead of night with only the sounds of roaring lions.  The elder lion king fends off a younger, wandering lion looking to take over.  A precious watering hole is the centerpiece of the film, where a number of animals gather to drink in the dry, arid environment.  The narrative of these two combatants takes a back seat to the equally compelling portrayal of typical life in the wild.  An astonishing sequence, where we see the lionesses hunt, possesses incredible tension.  In the flat, dry plains of the Kalahari, the lionesses have no cover.  Instead they stalk their prey in the open, slowly watching and crawling before they pounce.  Each successful catch is a wonder to watch, a brutal but necessary act.  Though the lionesses do the work, it is the king who gets the spoils, grabbing the prize from under their noses.

Filmed entirely in the wild, the film captures some incredible images -- the broad landscape filled with springboks, the African antelope, or the deep night where two lions battle for dominance.  The film keeps the brutality of the hunts or the fight between lions at minimum.  Rather, the film presents these acts as just another ordinary aspect of wild animals.  Yet the normal behavior of these animals remains riveting throughout the film.  It is a genuine glimpse of the natural world where the interactions among animals are equally cruel, endearing, and sometimes funny.

A fitting narration by James Garrett supplements the film with insightful comments throughout.  A suitable soundtrack by composer James Levine rounds it out, underscoring the drama, but never overpowering it.  A simple yet gripping story, Lions skillfully captures the life of these lions and the power play of the wild they must all endure.

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