THE WHALE (the whale). In the halls
Try to understand: it is not easy to live with a gigantic sense of guilt that dilated your body until you look The Whale, a whale. Charlie’s obesity, who can’t even stand up, is a choice: 270 kilos, a tired heart, the constant refusal to resort to treatments which, he says, he cannot afford, despite the insistence of his nurse friend Liz, the ‘only one who is still next to him. Gulping food, choosing food junk knowing full well that you are harming yourself, devouring it without even tasting its flavor is a form of self-destruction in the terminal phase. Charlie ( Brendan Fraser) a gay teacher of online literature and communication: he was once married, a loving husband.
He has a much-loved daughter, Ellie (TV series star Sadie Sink), whom he abandoned years ago when she was a child and he was swept up in love for a young pupil. He does not publish his image of him on the Net: he knows that it would cause shock and detachment. Meanwhile he dispenses good advice, esteemed and respected. A mouth of truth that moves on the web with grace and melancholy proposing the sense of the limit, the end of any adventure.
Darren Aronofsky won in Venice in 2008 with The Wrestler. The Whale a project built on the fatness (and unexpressed skill) of Brendan Frasertired of the Indiana Jones roles / ironic sex symbol / B-list mummy hunter. based on a play by Samuel D. Hunter and takes place entirely in two squalid rooms, a few square meters between Charlie’s armchair, the kitchenette overflowing with crumbs, tinned food and other evil foods. In front of that door from which come and go the resentful wife, the insolent Ellie, who torments her father even though she feels attracted to his intelligence and her desperation, and a young preacher with many unresolved knots. Charlie just wants to make peace with Ellie, whose term paper he reads and re-reads Moby Dick. Their bickering is an extreme treatise on the father-daughter relationship. Charlie wants to close the speech until there is time and then throw away the computer, the fridge and the crises of conscience. His absolute solitude, a form of devouring expiation.
Everything in that small apartment that houses a huge man is desperate. Look at me, who would want me to be a part of his life? sighs Charlie, whose pressure is beyond the point of no return. The idea of death becomes a relief, but Ellie’s emotional recovery must take place first. Worth the portrait of a poor man who can’t forgive himself, but who can’t even abandon the memory of that love that suddenly flew away and consider it a fault. Five years later Mother! Aronofski wants to give us the creeps by telling his obsessions: Charlie’s obesity is a metaphor, his unhappiness is a cautionary tale. Fraser, greased on his own and with the help of prosthetic and digital make-upan abnormal wreck abandoned by itself, a horror-philosophical mask.
THE WHALE by Darren Aronofsky
(USA, 2022, duration 117′)
Starring Brendan Fraser, Sadie Sink, Samantha Morton, Ty Simpkins, Hong Chau, Huck Milner
Rating: *** out of 5
In the halls
February 25, 2023 | 7:56pm
(©) REPRODUCTION RESERVED