Penguin Bloom DVD

Penguin Bloom. Although the title suggests a human protagonist, the moniker in fact belongs to an animal or more specifically a magpie. The bird is the symbolic figure in the film directed by Glendyn Ivin and based on the bestseller by Cameron Bloom, who was also involved in its screenplay.

Penguin’s introduction into the story comes at a pivotal time in the Bloom household. Sam Bloom, an avid sportswoman, nurse and mother of three is rehabilitating from a near fatal fall that has left her paralysed from the chest down. The accident signals not only the end of a life she once had but the beginning of a descent into depression. The film’s cinematography, wonderfully evocative of Sam’s isolation and despair also compels the viewer with the emotional severance from her family; her children’s grappling with trying to understand their mother’s physical and psychological change and despite his best attempts, her husband Cameron’s efforts at assisting with her rehabilitation which are read by Sam in a patronising light and which she can neither reconcile nor use to find a path to acceptance and recovery. 

Change and the impetus for it eventually find their way to Sam, via a fledgling magpie. Taken in by the Bloom’s, albeit reluctantly by Sam, Penguin as he is eventually named becomes the bridge to transformation, both for Sam and between her and the rest of her family. Despite her incapacitation, Penguin forces Sam from the debilitation of depression through his reliance on her for his welfare. For the first time since her accident, she must care and attend on something else rather than being cared for; being pitied. As her relationship with Penguin evolves, so her interest and zest for living gather momentum. Penguin ultimately shows that only through a life of interaction with others can we garner the meanings most necessary to us. 

Penguin Bloom is uncomplicated, its dialogue minimal and message simple but its affirmation of life universal and unquestionable and this is the movie’s strength. A beautiful film that would appeal to anyone.             


Penguin Bloom DVD
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