In the Heart of the Sea: Movie Review

We would have loved "In the Heart of the Sea" if it took braver and riskier steps in telling its true-to-life tale. As much as the visuals were top-notch and breath-taking, the overall story plays it a little too safe. What we get is a film that severely lacks in the drama department as it struggles to be compelling especially with its interesting cast of characters.

In the winter of 1820, the whaling ship Essex was assaulted by something no one could believe: a whale of mammoth size and will, and an almost human sense of vengeance. The real-life maritime disaster would inspire Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. The encounter’s harrowing aftermath, as the pushes the ship’s surviving crew to their limits and even forced to do the unthinkable and abominable to stay alive. Braving storms, starvation, panic and despair, the men will call into question their deepest beliefs, from the value of their lives to the morality of their trade.

"In the Heart of the Sea" starts off with Herman Melville trying to convince an old man in telling what happened with the Essex - as an inspiration for his book. But the man is extremely hesitant in revealing what actually happened due to some sort of guilt or probably trauma on his part. The film actually started pretty well. That conversation set a tone that made us feel something astonishing happened with the crew of the Essex. Unfortunately, as the film ran through its material, nothing interesting really ever materializes. By the time the horrifying truth is revealed, we have lost interest. Sadly, the film fails to develop compelling characters and the relationships between them. This means that the conflicts and dilemmas littered throughout the film, most if not all, failed to connect with the audience. Worse, the story itself feels to pedestrian and safe. While we loved the visuals and the acting, "In the Heart of the Sea" lacks any heft, depth and emotional connection that's pretty much standard for a movie in its genre.

Rating: 3 reels

Why you should watch it:
- the visuals are well-done

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the story is pedestrian and safe
- lacks emotional depth and connection

Photos courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

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