In 2012, playwright Samuel D. Hunter produced a dramatic play called, “The Whale.” It’s about a reclusive morbidly obese man named, Charlie trying to reconcile with his daughter for five days straight. The play caught Darren Aronofksy’s attention to adapt it as an independent film. He handpicked Brendan Fraser upon seeing a trailer for “Journey to the end of the Night.” Brendan signed on and Darren bought the film rights to make produce it with help from independent production company A24.
One Decade Later, The Whale premiered at the 79th Venice International Film Festival on September 4, 2022, giving a six-minute standing ovation to Brendan’s performance. There’s a video online with a crowd applauding Brendan that brought him tears of joy.
Three Months Later, The Whale was released in limited theaters earning $7 million for a small budget film. Brendan is nominated for “Best Actor in a Drama” at the 80th Golden Globes. Before the aforementioned awards ceremony airs/streams on NBC/Peacock. I wanna share my thoughts on Brendan’s comeback performance in a lead role on the big screen. He had another comeback on the small screen as Cliff Steele in “Doom Patrol.”
This review is CLASSIFED. I don’t wanna give away important plot details. Feel free to read my non-spoiler article.
Redemption & Condemnation Aspects
Redemption: Brendan Fraser did a phenomenal job for his performance as Charlie. He earns Bonus Points for his most challenging role to date. I believe the reason why he signed on for the lead role, is because his life kinda relates to Charlie’s. I refuse to give away Charlie’s personal life. Like I said, this review is CLASSIFIED.
Other Cast Members such as Sadie Sink, Hong Chau, Ty Simpkins & Samantha Morton all did an excellent job for their respective performances.
Darren Aronofksy (Pi, Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler) did an amazing job directing his seventh film. He finally made a decent film since “Black Swan.” His last two projects “Noah” and “Mother” were disappointments.
Samuel D. Hunter himself adapted his play on the silver screen.
Rob Simonsen (Tully, The Way Back, Ghostbusters: Afterlife) orchestrated the soundtrack.
A combination of Prosthetic Makeup and a Fatsuit transformed Brendan into Charlie. According to Brendan, the Fatsuit made him feel claustrophobic and sweaty. At the end of filming, he had to cool his body off.
Cinematography never succumbs to technical flaws throughout.
The Whale takes place in 2016.
Charlie’s interactions with his nurse/best friend Liz and his daughter Ellie serves as the main highlight.
We learn more about Charlie’s past prior to his eating disorder. We also learn about the people close to him.
Primary Themes are Guilt, Depression, Addiction, Secrecy, Isolation, Regret, Forgiveness & Redemption. Each one’s handled maturely.
Consider this a warning, this film will make you cry.
I refuse to give away The Ending. You’re gonna have to see for yourself.
Condemnation: I couldn’t find nothing wrong. I’m giving the cast and crew an Extra Point for making a flawless film as possible.
The Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!
The Whale is an instant masterpiece. This is perhaps Brendan Fraser’s best work since Doom Patrol. I hope he gets nominated for an Oscar. He deserves it for all that hard work. Props also go to Darren Aronofsky, Samuel D. Hunter and the rest of the cast and crew. If you’re interested in seeing The Whale, it’s definitely worth your spare time. I’m happy for Brendan’s comeback. I hope someday, he’ll collaborate with my idol, Christopher Nolan. If this becomes a reality, I strongly approve. I’m counting on the Oscars to nominate Brendan.
I almost forgot, The 80th Golden Globes’ due date is January 10, 2022. Mark your calendars.