The Whale: Movie Review

The Whale Movie Review: Fraser's Finest

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"The Whale" is literally and figuratively heavy. This film wasn't afraid to showcase the realities of depression, obesity, and more. While this type of format wherein it is dialogue-heavy won't be for everyone, those who come with an open mind will be gifted with an extremely dramatic, moving, and even an eye-opening film experience. 

A reclusive English professor, Charlie (Brendan Fraser) has been suffering from severe obesity. When Charlie experiences chest pains, his friend Liz (Hong Chau), advises him to go to the hospital as soon as possible. She believes that Charlie will not survive the coming weekend without serious help from professionals. But Charlie relents and doesn't want to waste money on medical bills. By chance, his estranged daughter Ellie (Sadie Sink) visits him after almost a decade. Believing his time is limited, Charlie attempts to reconnect, redeem, and inspire his daughter before it is too late.

"Be honest. Tell me what your really think." This is one of the best lines in "The Whale" and it would be a sin not to follow this advice in our review for it. Because for us, even with the phenomenal and career-defining performance from Brendan Fraser, "The Whale" wasn't perfect and it would be the kind of film that will not be for anyone's taste. If you fancy yourself a simple and derivative story, then this film won't suit you. If you like your movies to feature beautiful cinematography and vibrant scenes, then look somewhere else. But if you want a film that's not afraid to show the ugliness of its reality, to be human-centric, and to unveil its secrets slowly, then "The Whale" will amaze you. For us though, we had our biggest issues with "The Whale" on its harshness. Not only on the obesity of its main character Charlie (we are on the side that the film went overboard on these at times but we get it) but also how it portrayed the other characters in Charlie's life. Ellie and Thomas in particular felt a little bit too extreme and too one-sided to be relatable and even believable. The narrative was paced oddly at times with several climactic scenes lacking that dramatic and psychological punch that we were expecting. Regardless of its faults, "The Whale" was an unforgettable experience. It was unique in its own kind of way and we appreciate that it aspired to be special and it was able to achieve it.  

Rating: 4 reels

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