The Whale is a 2022 American psychological drama film directed by Darren Aronofsky and written by Samuel D. Hunter. Based on Hunter’s 2012 play, the film stars Brendan Fraser, Sadie Sink, Hong Chau, Ty Simpkins, and Samantha Morton. It revolves around an isolated and severely obese English teacher’s attempt to repair his relationship with his teenage daughter. Premiering at the 79th Venice International Film Festival in September 2022, the film had a limited theatrical release in the US on December 9 and a wide release on December 21 on A24. Despite receiving mixed reviews, the film received praise for the performances of Fraser, Chau, and Sink. Fraser won numerous awards, including the Academy Award for Best Actor, while the film also won the Academy Award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling.
The Whale Trailer :
The Whale Story :
In this moving story, Charlie, a lonely and morbidly obese man, teaches online writing courses to college students while hiding his physical appearance. Despite concerns from his nurse and friend Liz about his declining health, Charlie insists that he cannot afford medical care. His life is turned upside down when he is reunited with his estranged daughter, Ellie, and offers her all of his savings if she spends time with him. In return, he asks her to complete her homework and write in a notebook that she gives him.
As Charlie’s health worsens, Liz brings him a wheelchair and Thomas, a missionary from New Life Church, visits him and aims to save him. Meanwhile, Charlie keeps up the routine of ordering pizza from delivery man Dan, who never sees him face to face. Liz, revealing her connection to the church and the tragic suicide of her brother, disapproves of Thomas’ presence.
Ellie, wanting to find out the truth, secretly records a conversation between Charlie and Thomas, where they discuss their personal struggles. Liz brings Mary, Charlie’s ex-wife and Ellie’s mother, to visit, leading to heated arguments and revelations about her past. Charlie admits his desire to prove his worth as a father to Ellie.
After Dan sees Charlie for the first time, Charlie experiences a severe binge-eating episode and sends an angry email to his students, urging them to write something honest. Thomas informs Charlie of his impending return home due to Ellie’s actions, and they have a final confrontation over his beliefs. Charlie, realizing the importance of his honesty, decides to reveal himself to his students by turning on his webcam during his last class.
As his health fails, Liz returns to comfort Charlie. Ellie arrives, furious about an essay Charlie rewrote for her, but he replaces it with an honest essay she wrote in eighth grade. In a surprising turn of events, Charlie stands up and walks towards Ellie without assistance, floating in brilliant white light as they share a smile.
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The Whale Cast :
- Brendan Fraser – Charlie
- Sadie Sink – Ellie
- Hong Chaun – Liz
- Ty Simpkins
- Samantha Morton – Mary
- Sathya Sridharan – Dan
- Ryan Heinke – Dave
- Jacey Sink
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The whale movie budget is 30 lakhs USD and all over collection is 5.06 crores USD.
Darren Aronofsky struggled for more than a decade to get the movie “The Whale” off the ground, mainly due to the difficulty of finding the right actor to play the character of Charlie. However, after seeing parts of Brendan Fraser’s performance in the trailer for “Journey to the End of the Night” (2006), Aronofsky believed that Fraser might be a suitable choice.
Originally set in 2009, the film’s setting was updated to 2016 to reflect events before a significant “seismic shift” and to establish that the story takes place before the COVID-19 pandemic. The development of the 2016 Republican Party presidential primaries is shown on the television within the film. Also, the character of Thomas, originally an evangelical Christian missionary in the play, was changed to a Mormon missionary.
The character of Liz, played by Hong Chau, was not originally specified with a specific ethnicity or race. However, Chau’s casting led to Liz’s inclusion in the script. Chau advocated for Liz to have a unkempt appearance and tattoos, which were incorporated into the character.
In January 2021, A24 announced that it had acquired the global distribution rights to “The Whale,” directed by Aronofsky and starring Fraser. Subsequently, Sadie Sink, Samantha Morton, Ty Simpkins, and Sathya Sridharan joined the cast.
Filming took place from March 8 to April 7, 2021 in Newburgh, New York. Fraser underwent extensive prosthetic fittings, spending four hours a day wearing prosthetics weighing up to 300 pounds (136 kilograms). He also consulted with the Obesity Action Coalition and trained with a dance instructor to understand how his character would move with the added weight.
Regarding the final scene, the interpretation of whether or not Charlie walks is left up to the viewer, according to writer Samuel D. Hunter. Fraser believes that Charlie is finally “released”. Sadie Sink mentioned that her character, Ellie, is emotionally traumatized and Charlie can see past the emotional barriers she puts between her and her father.
It’s worth noting that the film was previously considered to be directed by Tom Ford and then James Corden, but both dropped out due to creative differences. George Clooney also briefly considered directing, but declined.