Hello, My Movievaures! I hope you had a great week and enjoyed last Sunday’s article on The Last of Us. Today I’ll be writing about one of the most emotionally and impacting movie I had the chance to watch in 2023: The Whale. You probably hear about it, as Brenda Fraser won the Oscar for his role in this movie. But I’ve been expecting its release for quite a while now, when I first saw the trailer. I knew I was going to be moved by this story. But let’s get to the non-spoilers part before getting into further details.
Eating his way to death, Charlie, a reclusive and obese writing teacher, wants to reconnect with his teenage daughter. This will bring up sad memories, and hurtful conversations, in his mind being his only way of redemption.
I cannot express how much this movie had an impact on me. From the first few minutes, until the very end, I couldn’t stop crying. Yet, not always for the same reasons. Indeed, it is heartbreaking to see someone so desperately killing himself, while being so hopeful of everyone else’s lives and futures. However, it is also so infuriating to somehow beleive the solution is simple, yet not possible for this character.
This movie doesn’t try to defend people who suffer from obesity but it doesn’t condemn it either. Those who think this is all about this topic, missed the message. Of course, it addresses how dangerous it is to not to take care of your health, by self-destructing with food, or the opposite, by not eating at all, as his passed partner did. This is not only a discussion about obesity, but about self-harming in any kind of way.
Yet, there is so much more to this movie. It covers so many important and strong topics. I hated so much all of the scenes with Charlie and his daughter, because you could feel all the hate and disgust she had while looking at him, and all the love and regret he felt. However, even if you could think at any time that she was only an awful person, I personally want to beleive, as Charlie that she is indeed a good one. Only, hurt as she was abandoned by the persone she loved the most.
My heart thanked every scene with Liz, her best friend and luckily a nurse. Indeed, some of them were still heartbreaking, but she brang a bit of joy into the room. A room, that we never leave throughout the whole movie, except for a few minutes, which helps understand how reclusive Charlie has been for quite a long time. Only some people break this solitude. Some welcomed, and some unexpected as could be Thomas. This missionary thinks at the beginning the he finally found someone he could actually save. He will understand that there is no saving anyone until you save yourself first.
All the conversations about God and religion were also amazing, and never condescending. It never felt like the writers tried to convince us of something, rather than leaving it as a question that each one of us are allowed to answer as we need to. However, there is a warning, about how closed mindness can deeply destroy, even the ones we love the most. Believing should never be an excuse to hurt those who doesn’t or do it differently.
In short, as I said before, The Whale covers so many touching and relevant topics. It is a moving story about a loving but disfonctional father, about a forbidden love, about friendships built in tears, about broken families, about religous drifts, about finding hope in god, about isolation, about the health care system, about self destruction, about the risks of obesity and any type of eating disorders, about regret and mostly about redemption. This movie deserves all the praise it has and Brenda Fraser’s best performance of his entire career.
This is all for today My Movievaures. Let me know in the comments below your thoughts on this review and the movie itself. I’m looking forward to hear from you either here or on Instagram (the_movievaures ). I’ll be back next week with a new article on The Movievaures .
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