RELEASE DATE : 3rd February, 2023

DIRECTOR : Darren Aronofsky

CAST : Brendan Fraser, Hong Chau, Sadie Sink, Ty Simpkins

DURATION : 1hr. 57min

~ Oscar-nominated ‘The Whale’ is a thought-provoking story based on the 2012 play by Samuel D Hunter.

Charlie (Brendan Fraser) is an english literature teacher, who conduct online study classes, and every time he claims to the class his camera is not working. But in reality, he is hiding from the prying eyes of the world fearing that it might find his physical appearance ‘disgusting’. The reason for his obesity is traced back to his depression since the suicide of his lover, several years ago.

The opening sequence shows his bloated and swollen body sunk into the corner of the couch, as he masturbates to gay porn, almost leading to a heart attack, saved by the arrival of a random stranger (Ty Simpkins), a young missionary, who eventually takes it upon himself to save Charlie’s soul.

Charlie himself is on a mission of self-destruction, consumed with guilt and self-loathing, he lets himself go with his eating disorder which has led him to suffering from a severe case of congestive heart and high blood pressure. He is constantly apologizing to people for no reason and believes he doesn’t deserve to be happy.

His only true companion is Liz (Hong Chau) his partner’s sister, a working nurse and now caregiver, who drops in regularly to check on his health, bring his food and run errands for him. She is concerned for his dwindling health and pleads to him to go to the hospital, all to no avail. Instead, he is desperate with the sense of undoing the wrong and reconciling with his estranged daughter Ellie (Sadie Sink), a rebellious teenager. Ellie hasn’t seen or talked to her father in eight years and seems disinterested in the wellbeing of her father, however, in spite of it all, Charlie believes in Ellie’s goodness to the very end.

The movie follows the play closely with accurate portrayal of anxiety, depression and internal turmoil. The film doesn’t strive to inspire pity in the viewer or insult the protagonist; rather, it explores a father’s struggles as he attempts to reconnect with his daughter and other members of his life in spite of his life-threatening condition.

The film narration touches on several topics of sexuality, addiction, religious intolerance. Charlie’s character despite all the setback and negativity remains a positive soul, believing in the good of people. He has a strong belief that people are incapable of not caring for one another.

It cannot be termed as an easy watch as the narration leaves us deeply emotional. Any awards Brendan Fraser and or the film will win is truly well deserved !

The film releases in India on 3rd February, 2023.