At the movies

Posted by Ken Campbell March 18, 2010 0 Comment 1149 views

I watched Paddle to Seattle today. All in all, a humorous story of two friends who build a couple of sea kayaks, then paddle from Skagway to Seattle over the course of a summer and fall. The presentation was lively and interesting, largely because it was a story about an experience, about the areas that were visited along the way, and not merely about the kayaking.

IMHO, as the kids say.

Right from the start, it was obvious that the main characters weren’t serious kayakers. At least, not serious kayakers the way some kayakers are serious. Their forward strokes were mostly arms and their movements in the boats seemed wooden and awkward. They didn’t look like they were really comfortable in their kayaks, and even addressed this issue directly on a few different occasions. Still, even though their forward stroke might not have been all that efficient, they managed to do it well enough to complete the trip; you have to respect that.

I don’t know, it worked for me because it was a tale of adventure, a story of a dream coming true. I believe it’s been winning some awards of late, and rightly so. It wasn’t perfect… there was too much fluff and not enough about the route, the actual course they paddled. It had its flat moments where it tried too hard and the gaps in the narrative are a bit jarring at times – most of the video was shot early in the journey, so the last portions of the route seem to arrive more quickly than I thought they were going to – but the tone was refreshingly upbeat. I could have watched it for another hour.

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