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 The Whale
review by Bobby Blakey

Throughout his career director Darren Aronofsky has had one of the more unique voices in cinema bringing us films like Requiem For A Dream, The Wrestler, Black Swan and Mother!. His latest film, The Whale has already been getting huge awards buzz as well as a triumphant return for star Brendan Fraser with both getting high praise. Can this film possibly live up to the hype or will it fail to have the weight to pull it off?

The Whale follows the story of an obese and reclusive English teacher tries to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter for one last chance at redemption. In addition to Fraser the film stars Sadie Sink, Hong Chau, Ty Simpkins, and Samantha Morton.


I am always worried heading into films like this that have been getting so much buzz and praise because often times they only connect with certain audiences or are overhyped. I have always been a fan of Fraser so been glad to see him taking on more roles, but seeing him here has been one I have been really looking forward to. I can say with all honesty that this film is truly great and Fraser delivers the performance of his career.


The story here is heartbreaking on all fronts, but it digs into important issues with loss, acceptance, forgiveness and faith in ways that I wasn’t expecting. It’s a seemingly simple story of just this one man and his depressing existence, but in reality so much more. There are multiple layers to the story and all the characters involved that made for an emotional journey that is sad, but brilliant.


Fraser steps into this role and goes in both emotionally and physically. His physical transformation alone is outstanding. I know we have seen

fat suits that have worked in other films, but it is such a big part of the character and who he is that it becomes almost a character all its own. The way it moves and in turn he moves with it is so sad to watch, but an impressive part of the performance. To bring it all home is the acting portion and Fraser is perfection. He has so much to offer and lays it all out there for this role. He brings everything you can imagine and more to this guy and a privilege to witness.


I have become a big fan of Hong Chau who was recently so good in The Menu and once again excellent here. She brings the stern, but loving caretaker to the forefront and the interactions between her and Fraser are some of the best of the film. You can feel their connection is more than just patient and nurse that is truly part of the history they share together. Sadie Sink is completely unlikeable here and that is by design for the pain and betrayal her character is feeling from her past circumstance. She brings so much pain and hate to the role, but you can see the hope and kindness shine through at times as she fights against something bigger than herself.


In the end this film is not one that will bring you many laughs or smiles, but instead just a deep emotional journey that deserves to be seen. This may not be the kind of movie that you can just watch over and over, but it surely is one I love and worthy of every bit of praise that it has been getting. Fraser is back and this film proves it with his Oscar win cementing it into history. 


In addition to the film this release offers up bonus content including making of and songs featurettes. Grab your copy of The Whale when it hits digital, Blu-ray and DVD on March 14, 2023.

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