The Whale

A reclusive English teacher suffering from severe obesity attempts to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter for one last chance at redemption.

  • Released:
  • Runtime: 117 minutes
  • Genre: Drama
  • Stars: Brendan Fraser, Sadie Sink, Samantha Morton, Ty Simpkins, Hong Chau, Sathya Sridharan, Huck Milner, Ryan Heinke, Ryan Heinke, Huck Milner, Jacey Sink
  • Director: Darren Aronofsky
  • mammdui - 7 June 2024
    Outstanding performance
    "The Whale" is an extraordinary film that leaves a lasting impact long after the credits roll. Directed by Darren Aronofsky, this movie delves deep into the human condition, exploring themes of isolation, redemption, and the desperate longing for connection.

    Brendan Fraser delivers a career-defining performance as Charlie, a reclusive English teacher struggling with severe obesity. Fraser's portrayal is raw and deeply moving, capturing the nuances of a man grappling with guilt, shame, and a profound sense of loss. The physical transformation is impressive, but it is Fraser's emotional depth that truly captivates.

    The supporting cast is equally compelling. Sadie Sink, as Charlie's estranged daughter, brings a fierce intensity to her role, portraying a young woman torn between anger and the desire for her father's love. Hong Chau, as Charlie's nurse and only friend, provides a grounding presence, embodying compassion and resilience.

    The film's setting, mostly confined to Charlie's small, cluttered apartment, enhances the sense of claustrophobia and introspection. The cinematography is intimate, often focusing on close-ups that capture the raw emotion etched on the characters' faces.

    Samuel D. Hunter's screenplay, based on his own play, is a poignant and unflinching examination of human fragility and the quest for redemption. The dialogue is sharp and authentic, driving home the profound sense of yearning that permeates the film.

    Aronofsky's direction is masterful, balancing moments of intense drama with quieter, contemplative scenes. He expertly navigates the delicate line between empathy and exploitation, ensuring that Charlie's story is told with dignity and respect.

    "The Whale" is not an easy watch, but it is a profoundly rewarding one. It challenges viewers to confront uncomfortable truths about themselves and the world around them. This film is a testament to the power of storytelling and the enduring human spirit. An absolute must-see.
  • rp94 - 15 April 2024
    Not sad in the traditional way
    The Whale is about a morbidly obese man named Charlie, but it is also about forgiveness, authenticity, religious tolerance (and lack thereof), and love. In the same way, Moby Dick is not actually about a whale.

    The film takes place during one week, in one location. We follow Charlie as he tries to reconnect with his daughter. Set daughter is described as evil by her own mother. She comes off as incredibly unlikeable and a downright terrible person. The movie gives plenty of justification for her actions. Yet despite all her antics, Charlie refuses to see anything but the good in her. In fact, he sees the good in all people. He has an incredible optimism and outlook on life despite his situation. This is not reflected at all and we get the sense that all other people dislike Charlie or find him hideous and or annoying.

    The film takes its time with the interplay between the different characters. It's a slow-moving drama that touches upon themes of forgiveness, authenticity, religious tolerance, and love. In the center of it all is an incredible performance by Brendon Fraser. The film is at times very difficult to watch, especially with Charlie and his excessive eating.