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A true story about how an orphanage tries to survive financial hardship by entering a fishing contest might sound mundane, but extraordinary is exactly what this movie achieves. First of all, watching a movie titled “Blue Miracle” with every scene intentionally decorated with blue hues is aesthetically satisfying. Its visual language is so inviting that it transports us to an ocean-side orphanage that looks warm and homey. Almost every corner of the screen is deliberately painted with a certain blue hue, from costumes, vehicles to furniture and backgrounds. The color blue gives hope, and viewers get drawn into the expectation that the orphanage is where anything can happen.

Omar (Jimmy Gonzale) is a modern George Muller-type figure, who runs a small orphanage for local boys in a small city of Mexico. Flashbacks throughout the movie indicate that young Omar saw his father’s death while fishing at sea. Since then, he has always been haunted by dreams of drowning in water. As a boy, he also once lived a homeless life. By the time we know him as “Papa Omar” of Casa Hogar Orphanage, Omar has left behind old wounds and become a strong believer in God. No matter how hard it is at the orphanage, he always has a positive outlook on life, trusting that God will provide. Trying to meet the needs of boys with different personalities, Omar wants to model responsibility and courage for them.

After hearing about the orphanage’s financial struggles, the local organizer of a fishing tournament enters Omar and his orphanage boys into its biggest contest, together with the reluctant and arrogant captain Wade (Dennis Quaid). If they win, the prize money ($250,000) might help Omar keep the orphanage property from being foreclosed by the bank. This unlikely team sets out to sea, hoping to change their luck during a three-day fishing tournament. Wade is frustrated with the boys, but his compassion for these kids awakens after hearing their traumatic life stories. He also wants them to cheat to win.

A central theme of this movie is about the legacy a father leaves behind for his children. Omar and Wade represent contrasting father figures. Having lived a hard childhood, Omar commits his life to protecting and caring for street children. He also strives to live as a model of honesty and reliability for them. Defeated and an escapist in life, Wade considers winning the tournament proof of greatness, which he can then show his son. He justifies cheating because the winnings would support an orphanage, but Omar sees something more important. The mission is not to keep a material facility, but a place worthy of respect in the hearts of these children. (Netflix)

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