The Whale Review: A Movie Saved by Brendan Fraser

While the acting by Brendan Fraser was phenomenal in the film “The Whale,” the entire storyline and execution seems lacking, somewhat. The shorts in that film feel started; the scenes are limited to one or two different locations, and one can notice multiple characters entering and exiting the frames while the protagonist (Brendan Fraser) remains in nearly every scene of the film. Ask any critic, and they will say that it is not hard to discern the film from an adaptation of a play.

In recent additions to this genre, such as “One Night In Miami” by Regina king or “The Father” by Florian Zeller, there is a telltale sign of attempts that are made to hold on to the “Play” quality within the film, which never really justifies the need for a film adaptation. In Darren Aronofsky’s latest work, “The Whale,” which is an adaptation of a play in 2012, he did something similar to his previous works.

We don’t get a sense of Charlie’s daily routine, even as he spends his days constantly eating, watching TV, getting pizza deliveries, teaching an online course on English literature, being brought food by his good friend/nurse Liz (Hong Chau) as she slowly witnesses him eating away his shame. The entire film is confined to just the apartment of Charlie or why other characters randomly appear and leave in a similar fashion.

It is difficult to gauge the daily routine followed by Charlie, even though he spends the majority of his day constantly eating, teaching an online English literature course, getting pizza delivery, watching TV, or having food brought by his good friend nurse Liz, who is played by Hong Chau, as she sees him slowly eat away his shame throughout the film.

The thing that makes one feel sad about “The Whale” is that there was incredible potential within the project. It was able to show how people are now more reclusive than before by choosing to do activities such as finding solace in Junk Food, nonsensical shows, and dopamine hits via social media. While it doesn’t delve deep into the aspect of social media that much, it does make the exception when Charlie tries to reconnect with his daughter Ellie, played by Sadie Sink, who is an angsty teenager by nature.


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