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TIFF 2020: “Penguin Bloom”

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Life, and everything that comes with it, cannot be taken for granted. We must be grateful for even our tiresome routines that make us sick sometimes. It is up to us to change it and not due to unforeseen circumstances. The story of Sam Bloom told in “Penguin Bloom” validates the fact that the only time we get disabled is when we allow the disability to take over our mind. But if we fight against it, we may defeat what we thought at first impossible.

Based on true events, a freak accident in Thailand sends a mother (Naomi Watts) of three into wheelchair. Heartbroken, mad, and in full of despair, she is sure that her life, the way she knew it, is over. Not only the happiness but being an ordinary mother there will be activities like surfing, walking, and so on all are things that she no longer can do. However, when an injured magpie is brought into the family, things changes in an absolutely unpredictable way.

“Penguin Bloom” brings to us the struggle of the family after the accident as they try to support Sam. As the story unfolds, the woman understands that she was not the person she imagined herself to be, and finds a way to become even better by unlocking opportunities for herself she did not imagine she had. Naomi Watts delivers a moving performance as a woman who must pick the pieces of her life back together after breaking her back. It will be a long journey for her to take the World Adaptive Surfing Champion title home not one but twice. Nonetheless, it is a journey of a lifetime and inspiring for all of us to watch and learn from.

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