Brandon Fraser in ‘The Whale’
A decidedly difficult viewer The wheel Begins with an essay by Herman Melville. Moby Dick Being read aloud to a chubby English teacher, Charlie (Brandon Fraser), who looks like he’s having a heart attack. Coincidentally is the full title of Melville’s 1851 novel. Moby Dick; Or, the whale. Charlie asks Thomas, (Tye Simpkins) a preaching missionary who comes in the middle of his attack on Charlie, to read the article aloud to him.
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Cast: Brandon Fraser, Sadie Sink, Hong Chow, Ty Simpkins, Samantha Morton
Storyline: An English teacher tries to reconnect with his troubled teenage daughter.
Runtime: 117 minutes
The essay treats the whale sympathetically as just a huge, dumb animal, and Ahab (the sailor who hunts Moby-Duck) believes that if he is able to kill the whale If he goes, his life will be better. The article also talks about the so-called boring bits that are only about whales, but theorizes that the author is using these bits to cover up his sad life for a while.
But there have been many academic papers. Moby Dick and more and more adaptations, including one about a great white shark that haunts the good people of Amity Island. Yes, Jaws was about sharks, but it certainly counts old Moby as its forerunner.
Melville’s great American novel is hard to ignore in Darren Aronofsky’s latest film because it’s thrown in our faces so many times. Adapted by Samuel D. Hunter from his 2012 play of the same name, The wheel He is kept in Charlie’s apartment because he seems determined to die early, much to the dismay of his nurse and friend Liz (Hong Chow).
Despite suffering from high blood pressure and heart disease, Charlie refuses to go to the hospital because he does not have medical insurance. He teaches English online with the camera off. Charlie longs to reunite with his 17-year-old daughter Ellie (Sadie Sink), whom he abandoned nine years ago.
There are no easy answers. The wheel, which is relentless in its gaze at the smallness that makes us human. Ellie is furious and lashes out at everyone as a way to ease her hurt at Charlie’s abandonment. She is a whirling dervish at Charlie’s Steel Center. Charlie tries to bury the grief of losing his lover in a suicidal hunger. On the surface Thomas seems to have found answers in Jesus, but obviously did not fully understand Christ’s message of unconditional love.
The maudlin, overcooked story is brilliantly saved by the acting. While Fraser creates a sympathetically alive portrait of Charlie—where you can see the man beneath the prosthetics—that the camera pans constantly, Chow quietly shines as Liz. Cink has the simplest role and makes the most of it, while Samantha Morton is brilliant as always as Mary, Ellie’s mother and Charlie’s ex-wife.
While what The wheel It seems to be saying that is vaguely disturbing, making the performance. the film I can sink.
Whale is currently playing in theaters.