Blue Miracle

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Jimmy Gonzales in Blue Miracle.
Jimmy Gonzales in Blue Miracle.
Photo: Carlos Rodriguez/Netflix


Blue Miracle




3/5 Stars


To save their cash-strapped orphanage, a guardian and his kids partner with a washed-up boat captain for a chance to win a lucrative fishing competition.


I am a sucker for feel-good films based on a true story, and writer/director Julio Quintana's Blue Miracle takes a true story as its basis and delivers on all the fascinations of good versus evil and every moral point in-between.

Former street child Omar (Jimmy Gonzales) runs Casa Hogar, an orphanage for local boys in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Funds are low, and the bank is ready to collect, so "Papá Omar," as he is affectionately known, must come up with a plan to save their shelter. Enter Dennis Quaid as gruff and arrogant Wade, who has won the Bisbee fishing tournament twice. Himself in a financially precarious position, Wade accepts to take Omar and some of his boys as crew for the organiser to waive his entry fee. With the two adults and the four selected young men—including Anthony Gonzalez (Miguel's voice in Coco) as Geco and Miguel Angel Garcia as Moco (the reluctant loner of the pack) – the beats move into a heart-warming story that will tug at your heartstrings.

Disappointingly, you don't get a lot of backstory on all of the characters, the only character you do get to know is Papá Omar, but somehow you still instantly connect with all of them. The script and the way the scenes are put together include great father/son themes, life/death themes and win/loss themes that anyone can identify with.

As for the onscreen chemistry between Gonzales and Quaid – they did a great job as two people from different backgrounds with lessons to teach one another and the influential presences around them. I have to admit there is just something about Dennis Quaid that I have never liked, but he does always manage to play roles that perfectly suit him – I didn't like Wade at all, which I think was the point, but in a sympathetic way more than a revolted kind of way.

And while character depth is relatively minimal, I did enjoy the fact that a film set in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, was well inclusive in terms of the cast, their chemistry with one another and their conversational way of speaking. The young boys and Papá Omar had a lot of banter between themselves, and using Spanish slang in between English made it more authentic. One thing I think might deter viewers is the lack of subtitles when the language in the conversation does change, however having said that, the amount of Spanish spoken is not enough to make you lose interest or the plotline.

Of course, a movie like this is completely predictable, and not only because the narrative is primarily based on a true story. But the beauty of it is even though you know what to expect, you will still be wholly glued and emotionally invested because of the attention to detail. One example of this would be how Quintana used different shades of blue in every scene to accentuate the various themes explored in the film.

Speaking about having the freedom to take risks and infuse the script with a distinct visual style, Quintana told Final Draft Blog: "When I'm directing something, I try to get things across visually when possible. I'm thinking about shots, I'm thinking about music, as I'm going along. I could even have colour palettes that will get across certain ideas in a subtle way."

Blue Miracle is a story told with a compassionate gentleness that's momentarily refreshing and a family night in well spent.


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