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The Whale (2022)

Drama | 117 minutes
3,55 588 votes

Genre: Drama

Duration: 117 minuten

Country: United States

Directed by: Darren Aronofsky

Stars: Brendan Fraser, Sadie Sink and Hong Chau

IMDb score: 7,6 (214.480)

Releasedate: 9 December 2022

The Whale plot

Charlie is a British teacher who lives in seclusion. He suffers from severe obesity and slowly but surely eats himself to death. He sees a chance to come to terms with himself and tries to strengthen ties with his estranged teenage daughter Ellie.

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avatar van mrklm


  • 8650 messages
  • 8418 votes

Morbidly obese English teacher Charlie [Brendan Fraser] is eating himself to death and as a result has not long to live. First comes Thomas [Ty Simpkins] who thinks he can help Charlie preach the gospel according to a religious group that Charlie has thrown himself into in the past. Then Charlie's 16-year-old daughter Ellie [Sadie Sink] shows up for the first time in eight years. Despite her bitterness and outspoken "hatred" for her father, she still wants him to help her with an essay she needs to write for English. Extremely far-fetched melodrama where Aronofsky pulls out all the stops to elicit pity for Charlie, including Fraser's cringe-inducing swagger in a fatsuit. Fraser takes it up a notch by doing little more than looking as endearing as Puss In Boots can be. That's all and to be honest it left me cold (also because the denouement is completely predictable), but in the well-filled cinema room where I saw this, quite a few people had to sniffle.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original

avatar van mjk87

mjk87 (moderator films)

  • 13402 messages
  • 3971 votes

Oops Aronofsky. While watching I already thought: this seems suitable for the stage. And yes, with the end titles this turned out to be an adaptation of a stage performance. But like so many stage adaptations, the film really adds nothing and little is done with the camera. I wonder what that appeals to filmmakers. Then you have a camera, then you can go out into the world, you stay in one room. There are exceptions such as Rear Window but usually there is nothing special. Also visually extremely boring and that oppressive format does not help to see something visually beautiful (that is possible, see many films from the 50s). No doubt to make the feeling of that small apartment even stronger, but I find it especially annoying. Not that this story lends itself to the style of Requiem for a Dream, but I should have expected something more from Aronofsky. Furthermore, the editing is mediocre, there is no flow or rhythm in the film.

Then I read above that there is little Hollywood about this, but I do not agree with that. All simple psychology, great emotions and big tears (especially Fraser, played credibly but too dramatic at times), a look at traumas and everyone's own troubles, the rebellious teenage daughter, everything feels scripted and fake. This thing is a stage adaptation but very Hollywood-esque too.

Is everything bad then? No, not that either. The first hour looks pretty good. Chau has a wonderful role and especially the small moments between her and Fraser are sometimes touchingly beautiful, but those moments are few and far between and are becoming less and less. And so the film sinks further and further away. 2.0*.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original

avatar van Fortune


  • 4108 messages
  • 2554 votes

Film about an average American.

I'm kidding, but people like this do exist. You also see them on television programs where they sometimes have to be lifted from their living rooms with a crane. I was once in America and there you actually sometimes see these kinds of whales waddling by or rolling by in a wheelchair. It's strange because you also have a Heart Attack Grill restaurant there with a giant scale in front of the store. If you stand on it and you weigh more than 160 kg, you can come and eat for free. 160KG is already more than double my weight now. It's fascinating but also extremely weird how Americans can be so obsessed with food. And very bad food. It seems like it should be as bad as possible, as greasy as possible. Freedom!

But of course it's very sad... That's the reality and everyone knows it and that's what this movie is about, I think. To show the reality of these people and that their life is very miserable and full of shame. I guess that's how the movie opens and the main character almost has a heart attack while watching porn. That is very sad but emphasizing the reality. It's not funny, there's nothing funny about this movie. And yes, what is anyone supposed to do with this film? Of course these gigantic human whales don't lead a nice life and we all know that if you think a little longer. In the end the film touches me but that is logical and it is almost emotional manipulation.

Aronofsky's magic is a bit gone I must say. It might as well be someone else's movie. In terms of editing and such, it is also quite a boring intention. Glad I saw him but never again. Also his worst movie. Now I feel like putting on The Wrestler again.

dutch flagTranslated from Dutch · View original