Reviews for The Whale ( ) 1080p

IMDB: 8 / 10

The Man In The Fat Suit

This new film, the story of a morbidly obese teacher eating himself to death while grieving the death of his gay lover and attempting to reconnect with his daughter, walks an interesting line between, on the one hand, ticking all the boxes of the modern identity politics checklist - gay lovers, diverse casting, perpetually-angry women and Christianity-bashing - while also delivering the most crushing blow to the body positivity movement that has perhaps ever been put onscreen: the feeling of horror and revulsion that Brendan Fraser in his fat suit manages to evoke in the viewer is quite a wonder: he really does look like a whale whenever he struggles to his feet, and his complete inability to meaningfully function in the world, or even in his terminally collapsing body, is kept front and center the whole film, never shied away from or sanitized.

The three female roles are well-acted (Hong Chau, especially) but the characters they play are pretty unpleasant and hostile, and the daughter in particular is thoroughly despicable, which the script never really addresses in a serious-enough way. Meanwhile the men are all weak and pathetic and relentlessly apologetic. It's hard to say what the point of it all is, other than to spend two hours in the company of no-one you'd want to know, but it does hold the attention for the most part and Fraser makes of his role something quite memorable.

There's no great twist to the story, and it never escapes the feeling of being just a well-shot play, almost entirely set in the same room, with people continually getting up to leave and then deciding to stay a little too often. Much of the script is lazy, with weak characterizations for everyone, and it falls quite some way short of adding up to anything meaningful enough to truly justify the time out of our lives we give it. But it's still a cut above most things at the cinema these days and one of Aronofsky's better films.

Not good!

This movie is just a movie with an agenda and offers nothing outside the usual Hollywood BS. Everything in this movie is exaggerated especially the daughter Ellie. Why is it that in American movies teenagers are always portrayed as evil? I raised 2 teenagers and my son played soccer so we had a significant number of teenagers around us for years, we went to their homes and became friends with their families, I've never encountered a teenager who is as rude and mean as they are portrayed in movies and TV shows. I know the mean ones exist but that doesn't make it the norm. Fortunately they are a tiny minority.

The main character Charlie, of course is gay because according to Hollywood, everyone in the world is gay now. But at the same time that same character was married and had a daughter. Which is it? You make a movie about a father and his daughter so why force the gay thing into this again. That shows how bent Hollywood is on forcing their agendas onto everyone. I'm so happy I collect movies and tv shows I can go back to because soon there won't be anything left to watch that doesn't try to brainwash all of us.

Anyway, I didn't keep watching this farce. I gave it 2 stars for Brendan Fraser's awesome performance.

Drags after an hour

This film started well but then began to drag and became more of the same. Brendan Fraser plays Charlie an obese English teacher who is heading for an early death . A loss in his life has led to him not caring about his weight . He sits on his couch eats and eats and teaches his class . He doesn't let his students see his face . Charlie's main visitor is his friend and carer Liz. (Hong Chau) She cares for him and wants to help him but Charlie refuses to go to hospital . He does want to make things right with his daughter élie who dislikes him .

The film is based on a play and you can tell . Most of the film is in one room and it drags . The standout of the film is rhe performance of Brendan Fraser .

Guilt, Grief, and Grace

I liked this movie a lot more than I thought I was going to. It's a compelling story splendidly acted by a dynamite cast. The major problem with it is that it is based on a play, which was obviously one of those modern box-set, small cast affairs. It still has the claustrophobic feel of being shut up and isolated from the outside world. However, that may be a directorial choice to emphasize the central character's dilemma: he is so morbidly obese that his body has become his prison. The ending also has the feel of a stage play where everything is neatly tied up and explained. The theatre is about language; movies are the visuals. But nonetheless, the film is quite moving in many places, thanks primarily to the fine actors. Brendan Fraser as the central character, an obese English professor who teaches an on-line class in effective writing, and Hong Chau as his caregiver have both earned well-deserved Oscar nominations. It's a pity that there could not also be nominations for Samantha Morton as Fraser's bitter ex-wife, Sadie Sink as his bitter estranged daughter, and Ty Simpkins as a sweet religious fanatic, as they are all splendid. The most "shocking" scene is right at the beginning of the movie when we see the disgustingly obese Fraser masturbating while watching gay pornography on his laptop. It sounds disgusting, but it quite economically communicates the central issues confronting the lead character, especially when he is caught in the act by a well-meaning fundamentalist missionary. Director Aronofsky is to be congratulated not only for guiding the actors, but for keeping the viewer interested in what happens next. This is no mean feat, given the set-up with very limited options. This is a good movie, worth seeing.

Acting is phenomenal, but, story is somewhat flawed

The Whale, is not Free Willy, but an overweight English instructor, who eats to cure his depression. His students have no idea, until a reveal of what he looks like. Chalie, played greatly by Mr Brendan Fraser, stays inside all the time, is embarrassed by his weight, and leaves cash in mailbox for food delivery.

Charlie has no friends, but, a care taker who is his only friend, and brings in food and supplies. We find that Charlie is stubborn; he refuses to go to the hospital having high blood pressure, stating he has no health insurance. ( We learn latter he has around $120,000 saved for his daughter.) The care taker, Liz, we find out is a enabler; bringing double cheese meat ball sandwiches, and other treats.

The Whale is based on a play, yet works better as a play. The film more or less has two sets, living room, and bedroom. The film is more or less seen through Charlie's viewpoint. The camera does not leave the doorstep of the apartment. It just felt there was more that could have been focused on had Charlie left home.

I didn't hate this film, but, I guess I went in with bigger expectations. The acting is phenomenal, but the 2nd act tended to get reparative fairly quick. I do hope Mr Fraser wins the Oscar, but, as a movie, it is good, but I did not leave the auditorium feeling " wowed.."

See it, but, I don't mean to come as harsh, but, it felt as if too much was edited out in final process as well.

A mean version of The Wrestler (2008)

I had an incredibly hard time knowing what to write for this movie, but after giving it some long and hard thought, I'm torn. Brendan Fraser gives a career best performance and hits all the right notes, as does the rest of the cast. The issue for me was how the material was handled. I heard so many critics saying how "kind" and "empathetic" this movie was and how it was Aronofsky's first movie since The Wrestler to accomplish such a thing. The only thing I can say is that this movie is basically a carbon copy of The Wrestler, right down to the ending, but it was anything but empathetic and kind. Unfortunately, one of my biggest complaints of this movie was how mean spirited it was. The only kindness we really get is from Fraser's Charlie. Even Simpkin's ever sweet character succumbs to cruelty. I also understand that the filmmakers want so bad to show food as an addiction, but it got way too over the top. The whole movie, even down to the title, feels more or less like a sideshow attraction to Fraser's character. Plain and simple, it's as much a dramatic character story as it is a deeply cynical body horror film. I'm disappointed.


3-act play on film

I saw "The Whale" yesterday starring Brendan Fraser as a morbidly obese man who is eating himself to death after the untimely death of his lover. It is directed by Darren Aronofsky from a play written by Samuel D. Hunter. So, the movie itself is a 3-act play filmed in Fraser's characters Idaho apartment. His only visitors are his nurse, his embittered daughter, a religious missionary boy hoping to convert him, his ex-wife, and his pizza delivery man who has come to know him by name. Fraser is buried under a fat suit simulating a 600-pound man. Many have praised Fraser's performance, and it is very good, but I don't think it is Oscar worthy. Working under heavy makeup is not an automatic Oscar nod IMHO. I was actually more impressed with the supporting players' performances, especially Sadie Sink as his daughter and Hong Chau as his long suffering but devoted nurse. I cannot give the movie my highest rating, but it is still recommended for fans of a well-acted drama in a confined setting. 7/10.

Brendan Fraser's Tour De Force

While the title itself would be a pejorative for someone morbidly obese, it really ties into a story that the lead character Charlie holds dear to his failing heart. That is the story of "Moby Dick" Though the tale itself doesn't really come into play, if not for only the last great memory he has is of the sea and of a daughter that he had abandoned when he feel in love with someone of the same sex.

Much has been said about Brendan Fraser's performance, and I couldn't agree more with the accolades he will get. As he is someone who is playing someone so uncomfortable in his skin, Fraser seems entirely wrapped up into the man's eat-to-death skin. And as someone who has had friends who are delusional when it comes to self-awareness of excess weight, the character of Charlie REALLY knows he is done with life. When he is reunited with his really estranged daughter, there is so much anger and resentment built up, you can feel the ugliness of family and the ability for them to destroy your insides. But Charlie doesn't take it to heart after all, he is the catalyst for the well earned disgust and hate. Hard to hammer on a guy who knows life has him beat. He is also doted on by his life partner's sister who seems to be both a caretaker and an enabler. She is played by Hong Chau, who brings so much connection to Charlie's lot in life. She both understands and has to standby as he self-destructs. This is very similar to the Elisabeth Shue character in "Leaving Las Vegas"

This movie is not for everyone. People who have suffered abandonment and require easy answers isn't going to get it fully. There is no forgiveness for Charlie. Though he isn't exactly clamoring for it either. He wants to do the right thing, and tends to annoy people with his optimism despite his physical ailments. At a certain point one has to allow the person to go unto the inevitable end. Is this love? Not quite. Nor has he ever gotten it. But for a movie that relies on the past and history and family dynamics to guide the emotions involved here, a little background may have helped. Perhaps Charlie's own childhood would be a window into his self-destruction. Instead, the audience needs to piece together, perhaps, the backstory from scant clues.

A one location drama is a remarkable feat we should all celebrate. "Who's Afraid Of Virginia Wolf?" blows any of them away. But director Darren Aronofsky does wonders with an isolated Idaho apartment. As if the outside world is as bleak as the one he is entombed in. The story of Charlie and his ultimate future is what should keep you watching. For others who require a lot of action, this is not for you. It is a quiet piece that Fraser absolutely nails through gestures and emotions. Some have criticized this movie for exploiting an obese person. At moments I felt the pity come through. But the wise decision was to make Charlie seem at peace with his decisions he's made, though still disappointed. What lifts him to the resolution we want comes from him coming to terms with his relationship with his daughter. But also, a incredibly uncomfortable moment with his ex-wife (nearly unrecognizable Samantha Morton) who has fallen into the bottle yet still holds warmth for Charlie.

People aren't going to like how the world caters to Charlie. It could be uncomfortably funny as in "The Simpsons" where Homer gets morbidly obese to get to work from home. There is no motivation here for that. He is a recluse who enjoys the occasional visit and sometimes self-pity. And that will turn many people off.

I wish there was a happier ending. But that's not what you go to an Aronofsky movie for. Not sure what this is trying to fully say. Perhaps...we make decisions in our lives that sometimes we can't repair, but the other person needs to know they tried? Maybe. It's a tricky line that isn't going to sit well with everyone. I happened to appreciate it. Maybe you will too.

An okay film with an incredible performance

I think there are some good reasons to criticize this film. It's a fairly stage bound adaptation of a play. That's not always a bad thing. In many cases, staging a film very similarly to the way the play was staged accentuates what works about the play. I don't think it really does here, and the film's repetitive structures leads to some dead patches. There's also a powerfully melodramatic tone to this film that I'm frankly just a bit unsure of.

I also think there are extremely bad reasons to criticize the film, and these reasons are starting to emerge as the consensus among critics in the mainstream media. This isn't a film about a very fat man. It's a film about someone with an extremely destructive eating addiction caused by grief and regret and the complete lack of self-worth that accompanies those feelings sometimes. There have been films that deal with drugs, alcohol, gambling and sex, but apparently when it comes to food, the only thing that this film can be doing is inviting you to gawk at the big fat guy. It's a very strange conclusion to reach that I speculate is generated by coming into the film dead set on the idea that this is all it can be doing.

I did not come away from this film with any notion that I was supposed to see Frasier as anything less than a human being deserving of our deepest empathy. The film parades in some shocking imagery, especially up front, but I found that once I confronted it, my initial reaction subsided and I was seeing Frasier for who he was. I think it's an extraordinary double-standard that people can watch Nicolas Cage indulge in ridiculous and cartoonish bouts of binge drinking in "Leaving Las Vegas" and declare brilliance, but balk at Frasier's fits of VERY CLEARLY self-annihilating eating in this film and think we are only supposed to be processing it as some kind of freak show.

I don't think this is an incredible film, and I wouldn't place it among Aronofsky's best. I do think Frasier's performance is brilliant, and the film is a flawed, but often marvelous character piece about a kind of addiction we seldom confront.

Who wrote a story about my life without my permission???

I just got back from seeing this movie in theaters. I'm not sure what to say yet because I'm still feeling and processing everything I just watched. All I can say is the performances in this film were incredible all around. I was crying throughout the majority of the film because so much of what was depicted and described in the movie paralleled so many things that I have experienced in my own life. I only wish my dad could have seen this movie before he passed away last year, and that maybe we could have talked about it if we had been in touch the last couple of years. This movie probably will not affect everyone the same way but it definitely had an impact on me. I've never seen anything like this before. Ever.

Crushingly honest.

Darren Aronofsky surprised me with this film as he kept the characters and their reactions to circumstances as the center of what's happening on screen.

What was further surprising to me was the thorough nuance with which the film's sensitive themes are explored. Aronofsky is not a subtle filmmaker, but each of these characters is given such satisfying depth and is portrayed with their flawed perspectives and endearing desires on full display.

The film has no hero or villain. Everyone is made out to be both to an extent and it's heart-wrenching to come to know these people throughout the film and watch them seek redemption.

Some have criticised the screenplay as melodramatic-I didn't find this to be the case. I found it largely authentic, tragic, and full of intrigue that compounds as more information is revealed.

My only glaring issue with the film is that one of the characters starts out as complex and with a singular nature, only to have that completely altered, oversimplified, and abandoned in his final scene. It seemed to me that this was done for the sake of the desired themes but at the expense of the character.

But Brendan Fraser's performance alone marks this film as a colossal triumph, and there is much excellence to be seen throughout its entirety.

Masterful, One of the best movies I've seen!

I was immersed into this film from start to finish. Darren Aronofsky directed a spellbinding emotional triumph in cinema The Whale deserves numerous awards mainly for Branden Frazier! I love the essays, the engaging scenes, how honest everyone is, and heartwarming vibes. I don't have any complaints this is a perfect movie. I hope Branden is ok this movie had of been difficult to make. A tour de force view of an obesity and bonding that is continuously top notch acted. Every scene is worth watching mostly drama and some comedy mashed in well. I hope the movie gets high praise it very much deserves it all, highly recommend The Whale.

Heartbreaking and eye opening

There's a part of this movie that even before going in I was apprehensive about. Is it exploitative? More than probably, yes. Is it phobic in a certain way? It isn't impossible to think that. But being far removed from certain aspects of what the movie shows and yet being so close and feeling related to a lot of other things the movie portrays, I can only speak from what I got and felt about this movie.

Performances by Brendon Fraser, Sadie Sink and Hong Chau were absolutely fantastic. But that's something almost everyone knew even before going in. What really touched me was the detailing through which they showed why each character behaves in certain ways and how everything ended up this way. The absolute helplessness of humans under a system and subsystems across various levels of power that are meant to make life better creates more obstacles for everyone involved are arguably the root of the evils here. But the way each person deals with the evils they face is entirely different even when those reactions have so much in common. That is really reflected in each of the performances. Each of them shows a variety of emotions that are so humane and makes your heart break even more with the contrast between their philosophies on life and how life treats them.

For me, the film wanted to tell us that everyone is flawed, but it's the authenticity that should matter more than anything else which should be the road to happiness in life.

Fraser shines in a complex career-high turn.

THE WHALE (2022) ***1/2 Brendan Fraser, Sadie Sinks, Ty Simpkins, Hong Chau, Samantha Morton. Fraser gives a career high performance of depth and heartbreak as an obese man attempting redemption in rekindling his relationship with his estranged teenage daughter (Sinks all seething contempt) before his health completely betrays him. Filmmaker Darren Aronofsky's adaptation of Samuel D. Hunter's play plumbs the depths of humanity and allows his star to shine buried under a mountain of prosthetics by Adrien Morot in a tightrope act of what could've been a disdainful freak show or worse a melodramatic mess.

A Visceral Experience

This was truly an experience. I went into this with very high expectations and I can truly say they were exceeded.

The acting was impeccable. I honestly think Brendan's performance may be the best performance by any actor that I have witnessed. If that statement isn't true, I can assure you that he brought the most emotion out of me than any other actor. Sadie Sink was also phenomenal here. I was blown away. Hong Chau, who I somehow didn't know before this, was also out of this world.

As always, Darren makes the whole thing gorgeous to watch-even when the scenes are filling you with dread, disgust, pity, sadness, etc. I feel like this film made me feel every emotion I've ever felt. I absolutely do not want to see it again anytime soon. I drove home in silence and before long I was sobbing.

I went to see this film alone for more than one reason-but mainly because I wanted to allow myself to feel my emotions in full (aka I wanted to allow myself to cry my eyes out, which I did). I reserved a great seat in the middle so I had a couple to my left and a couple to my right. Both right next to me. When this film ended, none of us made a sound or moved for at least 5 full minutes. I was the first to get up and leave. I've never experienced that before.

This film is not an easy watch but it's an important one. 10/10.

Absolute gold...

I got to screen this film for awards season purposes.

It was very hard not to cry during several scenes.

Branden Fraser is simply amazing. Under direction of Aronofsky it's probably the best dramatic film of the year.

Fraser portrays the role to perfection. You feel sorrow for his character. The lady from Stranger Things that plays his daughter he is trying to reconnect with is going to be a huge star.

There is nothing unlikable about this film. Fraser tugs at your heart strings with the struggles his character goes through.

It's almost hard to watch at certain points in film; I had to take several breaks it's very emotional.

Fraser is a very genuine guy in real life I have met him twice a decade apart and he was the same amazing guy.

I hope this film does very well and ushers back a long awaited revival for Mr Fraser in Hollywood.

Brilliant actor & film.


This film left me speechless.

Beautifully crafted, vulnerable, yet gripping. Extremely visceral from the get-go, starting with a memorable (and uncomfortable) first scene. It doesn't lose its grip on you until the touching, heart-wrenching end. The camera is very opinionated in showing you a POV and it's based on the screenwriter's own experience struggling to connect with a younger person whilst self-medicating through food. Critics please note - it's not a film about fat people or being fat. At it's heart, it's themes are quite deep - redemption, self loathing, emotional honesty, judgement from others and the struggle to find real connection. Incredible and challenging performances, especially from Brendan and Sadie.

A welcome Whale of a comeback for the beloved Brendan Fraser.

Let me start by saying I've been a fan of Fraser since seeing Encino Man as a kid and this guy will always be one of my favorites. To see him somehow thrown out of Hollywood/not casted for the most part for the past decade was very frustrating for me. It was about time someone gave him another chance which Aronofsky and A24 did and it proved successful mainly because of Brendan's dedicated and emotional performance.

The film itself is quite less pretentious and more honest than most of A24 films to date . It also has more of a down to earth straight forward delivery than most of Aronofsky's perplexing work. Honestly with the subject matter it needed to be and relies mostly on pure emotion and struggle which is shown masterfully by Fraser.

There have been a lot of preconceived outraged overreactions and ridiculous assumptions based on the fact that Fraser is wearing a fat suit/getting prosthetics to appear as a morbidly obese person. I don't see why this is a problem mainly due to the fact this is a film made to entertain and to do so sometimes you wear things or makeup to alter looks. It would be difficult to cast a real life person off the street and have them pour their real emotions out on screen. I don't see that being easy.

Also this is so much deeper than the looks of Fraser in the film and that's the true intention and power of this piece. People must see this raw and moving performance from Brendan and it's sure to cause a stir. This is the due Renaissance and comeback for Mr. Fraser. Oscar should be coming his way.

The Whale is a wonderful surprise masterpiece!

Brendan Fraser has proved he still has it. It's a beautiful performance that's long overdue for him. A film that will make you cry and love Brendan. A must see. He has long been a fan favorite actor but this Blast from the Past will make you rethink his acting. A brilliant film that is a sneaky great film. If you are on the fence about seeing this you'll regret not seeing it. I felt a sense of sadness and love when watching this film and I cried many times. It's not a film that comes around 9ften but when it does it changes cinema. An Oscar contender film with real heart. The best film of 2022.