“The Whale” Movie Review by Rafy Mediavilla (@Rmediavilla) #TIFF22

“The Whale” Movie Review by Rafy Mediavilla (@Rmediavilla) #TIFF22

A reclusive English teacher suffering from severe obesity attempts to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter for one last chance at redemption.

I have to admit that The Whale was one of those movies that ultimately pushed me to apply to cover the Toronto International Film Festival 2022, I was ecstatic I was hyped I was seeing all the praise that he was getting from previous presentations from other festivals and obviously the praise that Brendan Fraser was getting from his performance. When the lineup was revealed, and I made my schedule, I know The Whale was that movie that was a top priority for me.

Yet once again I come out of the theater, and I start enumerating everything that worked and didn’t work for me because all the praises the movies were getting and all the reasons that I have for me to watch this movie stayed when I came out of the theater but the final execution of the story really didn’t work out for me.

The Whale Is a hard movie to process not only as a critic but also as a person. Throughout the whole movie, I truly wanted to feel empathy for Brendan Fraser character but the first thing that didn’t work for me is I felt director Darren Aronofsky and writer Samuel Hunter failed to establish some sort of carrying for what Brandon Fraser take character had done, this part of his character feels underdeveloped as we just come in when he just has a couple of days to try to get his life back together with his daughter, and while he explains what brought him to where he is. All I really saw was him torturing himself and not doing anything about it to get where he wants to be. And This is why I said on my initial reaction that this is the never-ending revolving door of the story This is why I said I felt as if I was stuck seeing the same thing over and over again with no end to it.

With that somewhat negative aspect out of the way it is impossible to do a review of this movie without talking about their performances, and yes, I set performances. While Brendan Fraser does shine and carries the film from beginning to end, due credit has to be given to Sadie Sink, and Hong Chau Performances, to the point that I believe the way their characters were written, you’ll feel more empathy for them on what they’re going through, As you see them constantly reminding Brandan Fraser character Charlie, what he has done to be where he is, and what he needs to do to get better I absolutely felt the pain in Hong Chau character Liz, and Sadie Sink character Charlie’s daughter Ellie. Honestly more than Brandon Fraser’s makeup and wardrobe transformation into his character, it was the performances by these two actresses that truly got me all emotional.

The Whale is difficult to recommend mainly because I think of people that put themselves as I did in Liz and Charlie’s daughter Ellie’s shoes and will get emotionally triggered by their situation. seeing someone you love whether it be a friend or a family member in a dire situation like Charlie is and seeing that person wanting to get better but not doing anything about it it’s difficult for me I feel this whole movie is far too relatable for anyone that has been in this situation, and yes it does spark a conversation but I don’t see anyone that went through this type of situation wanting to relive those moments. Now if you can stand and process the situation of how it was written for the movie the performance by the cast is well worth the price of admission.