“I need to know that i have done one thing right with my life…”

THE WHALE – Rated R – 1 hr 57 mins

DIRECTED BY:  Darren Aronofsky

WRITTEN BY:  Samuel D. Hunter

STARRING:  Brendan Fraser, Hong Chau, Sadie Sink and Ty Simpkins

Back on the big screen after a very long hiatus, Brendan Fraser takes on the role of his career, playing the English Professor named Charlie, who instructs from his home via the internet, making light of the fact that there is really no other option, considering his enormous size…

Luckily for Charlie, he has a dear friend named Liz (Hong Chau), who checks in on him almost daily, as she is worried about his failing health, and his refusal to get the type of health evaluation he most despirately needs…

Struggling to breath, yet making light of his situation in almost every direction, Charlie is surprised when his estranged teenage daughter Ellie (Sadie Sink) shows up on his door step, as he despirately tries to reconnect with her, hoping that they can make amends over his leaving Ellie at a very young age…

But, like most teenage daughters do, Ellie isn’t there to make amends, she is there to call her father out for everything that has been eating at her for so many years now.  And despite his best efforts, it seems that no matter how hard he tries, getting through to Ellie the many reasons why removing himself from her, and her mother’s lives was necessary for all of their survival, Ellie isn’t buying it…

So, as Charlie tries to form a relationship with this daughter that he hardly knows, before his next health crisis is the final one, it seems that Father’s and daughters can find a path to understanding, but only if they are both willing to truly listen to one another when it matters…

I give THE WHALE a rating of 5 out of 5 Stars:  This incredible play turned into a screenplay by Author Samuel D. Hunter is a masterpiece in the making, as this painfully real subject matter dominates the screen, and yanks out your heart, all in one felt swoop!  Fraser gives a totally award worthy performance, playing the home-bound English Professor, that is a bowl of laughs for his students, new aquaitances and friends, But this performance also sends the pendulum full swing too, as Fraser takes you to the deepest darkest hallows of depression too, as this mind versus body tale plays out. All I can say at this juncture is if this film and this performance doesn’t shoot his career into the stratosphere, nothing will!  Sadie Sink also fgive a fabulous performance as his teenage daughter, feeling betrayed and neglected by her father’s sudden exit when she was a small child, and watch out world, because this rebellious streak is going to last for a little while too, aimly straight at her father’s heart.  I truly hope that Hong Chau’s performance resonates come this awards season too, as she is incredible playing the caregiver/friend, who only wants what is best for Charlie, and his longevity on this earth, although she seems to be fighting for something that Charlie just doesn’t have the strength to deliver.  Suffice to say that THE WHALE is far from being a pick-me-up kind of movie, but this story, and these characters throughout will resonate with everyone viewing it, and the fraility of life itself portayed on screen, will leave an indelible mark on even the most cynicle of viewers. 

5 out of 5 Stars

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