The Whale is one of those movies that before I saw it I had heard nothing, but good things about. It got to the point where if I am being honest, it was near impossible for this movie to live up to the hype. The movie is based on a play by Samuel D Hunter who also wrote the screenplay.
How to Download The Whale
Sometime after the film’s theatrical release (December 9, 2023), you should be able to download or stream the film from a digital platform. Click on the Download button at the end of this review and check the current availability
The Movie Review
The director of The Whale is Darren Aronofsky whose movie The Wrestler is a top ten of all time for me (check out also his Requiem for a Dream and Noah). However, it is Brenden Fraser that is getting all the attention here, and for good reason too. I first saw him in the movie California Man and as he became a bigger and bigger name, he became an actor that I really enjoyed, and then his career kind of just dried up.
It is pretty interesting how that his career has gotten a shot in the arm from this movie the same way Mickey Rourke did when he was in Aronofsky’s The Wrestler. This is a drama and it is one that is pretty brutal if I am being honest with you as our main character, Charlie is a guy that you can tell deep down is a nice guy and you just want him to have a life.
The story of the movie is this, Charlie is an English professor and he is morbidly obese and he is pretty much shut off from the outside world. He does all of his teachings via the internet, but he never has his webcam on so his students do not know what he looks like and he plans on keeping it this way.
Charlie has a best friend called Liz. Liz has a very good heart and she is deeply concerned about Charlie’s health and just wants him to be happy and healthy. He also has dealings with a man called Thomas who is a Christian missionary that wants to try and “save” Charlie and there is more to this than you would think.
However, the real relationship drama in the Whale comes from Charlie wanting to spend time with his teenage daughter, Ellie. While it is Brenden Fraser that is getting all the acclaim for this movie. I have to say that I was just as impressed by Stranger Thing’s Sadie Sink in the role of Ellie. She and Charlie have amazing chemistry and their relationship just breaks your heart.
Charlie and Ellie have a very estranged relationship and this is something he wants to fix, even going as far as to bribe Ellie to come and spend time with him. We get to see why their relationship is the way it is and also the sad events that led Charlie to live the life he is currently living.
I found The Whale to be a very captivating and emotional story. I would not say that it is a 10/10 masterpiece like some others are saying, but I still really enjoyed it. Brenden Fraser really is as fantastic as everyone is saying and I am sure a ton of awards are coming his way. While I am not sure I would watch this again, I am certain this will be a movie that sticks with me for a long time.
- Brenden Fraser has a career-defining performance here
- Sadie Sink as Ellie is also fantastic
- This is a very heartbreaking and thought-provoking drama
- It is the kind of movie that you cannot take your eyes off and it grabs your attention right from the start
- I am not sure this movie is something I would watch more than once
- Parts of the movie can be pretty brutal and depressing