THE WHALE (2022)
Release Date: 12/09/22 [Cinemas]
"A reclusive English teacher attempts to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter."
OUR MOVIE REVIEW:
The Whale is a cruel and harsh look at a person whose depression is literally eating away at him from the inside out. The film is an emotionally devastating masterpiece that will be viewed controversially for years to come from the talent of Darren Aronofsky. The Whale is powerful in not only its story beats but in its phenomenal lead performance from Brendan Fraser’s Charlie.
The story may focus on a homosexual male but the depression that’s eating at him isn’t correlated to that component of his life, it’s about missed opportunities and the overwhelming darkness that consumes one when they lose a loved one. The film is set like a play, all taking place within the confines of Charlie’s apartment. The feature isn’t purposely gross in its characteristics of Charlie unless they wish him to be portrayed as such - we don’t typically feel disgust toward the man but instead a deep sadness for the life he is living.
Led by an immaculate performance by Fraser and three wonderful supporting performances, The Whale manages to be one of the most real, depressing and dramatic stage plays brought to screen. The film isn’t meant to be a pleasurable watch, it’s meant to agonize the viewer from the inside out, just as Charlie’s body has started to do to itself. It may not be even close to the slickness of Aronofsky’s other offerings (Requiem for a Dream, Mother!), but the way he makes subtle choices creates the most triumphant impact. The Whale is easily Brendan Fraser’s career high, Aronofsky’s most satisfying and at heart one of the best films of 2022.