Film Review: One Life

One Life is a fascinating documentary that should appeal to all ages. The 85-minute running time is perfectly suited to give an overview of the topic without the necessity for a lot of detail.

Focusing on the stories of a select group of animals, One Life explores the lifespan of animals. The documentary highlights the bonds between these different creatures, illuminating some universal characteristics. Despite the divergent appearances and habitats, there is a strong connection between the world’s numerous species…

Adapted from the acclaimed BBC series Life, One Life condenses some of the intriguing stories into a stand-alone movie. Those familiar with the series will recognise some of the accounts in the film. Nonetheless, these are presented in a different fashion. Whilst the footage remains the same, the stories are more succinct, and linked together in a much more transparent manner.

One Life seems to have been made specifically to appeal to a family audience. The narration is delivered in clear, understandable language. Children should easily be able to comprehend details of the different stories featured in the film. However, there are enough interesting facts to maintain the attention of older viewers. Although some adults may find the explanations a little elementary at times, the film is sufficiently engaging to entertain a wide demographic.

Given that filmmakers Michael Gunton and Martha Holmes had over 10,000 hours of footage to select from, their choices seem pretty sound. The film features a good selection of different animals and habitats. In terms of species, sizes, habitat and locations, the stories chosen reflect the diversity of the animal kingdom. Moreover, some of the species selected are not the most common or well-known animals. The film effectively compares and contrasts mammals with insects, reptile and crustaceans.

Daniel Craig’s narration complements the imagery well. His tone is factual for the most part, providing facts to accompany what is depicted on screen. He does occasionally offer a humorous tone, which matches the accompanying music. The soundtrack is well suited to the action, providing the film with a touch of lightness at appropriate intervals.

The footage used in One Life is amazing. The filmmakers have captured some wonderful imagery, offering viewers a glance at little-seen species or habitats. When focusing on some of the smaller animals, the definition is amazing in capturing microscopic detail.

One Life retains a good balance between entertaining and informing. It provides parents with a film that they will be happy to take youngsters to see.