The Whale: A Life Of Grief And Pain

Written by Luke Barnes


A dying man, played by Brendan Fraser, spends his last days trying to reconnect with his daughter, played by Sadie Sink.

This is a powerful film in a lot of different ways. It is powerful as a film about a man who has been driven by grief and guilt for all his life and who has turned to destroying himself, it is shocking as a film about a man who is eating himself to death, and it is bone chilling as a film about human cruelty and loss.

Brendan Fraser is fantastic here and really does deserve to win awards for this film as it is easily the best performance of his career and spoke to me on a number of different levels. This is truly Fraser at the top of his game. Sadly, and this may serve to be the only real negative of the film, Sadie Sink sticks out for all the wrong reasons here. In many senses there is an idea that she is being type cast, her performance here is very similar to that in Stranger Things, though one may add it seems a little more malicious here. I think her range and acting ability really doesn’t come through here at all and she is certainly blown out of the water by Fraser.

I think the strongest thing this film has going for it is a clear sense of emotional purpose and truth. This film does not mess around with its emotional impact, every scene and line is carefully crafted to make you feel something, whether it is the monstrosity with which the whale himself is shot at times or the scenes of him binging, or the final scene of acceptance and moving on. Each shot serves a purpose and infuses itself with so much emotion that it is nigh on impossible for you to feel nothing.

Overall, a powerful film that marks Fraser fighting his way back into Hollywood.




The emotion

The imagery and cinematography

The pacing


Sadie Sink lets the side down

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