Brendan Fraser makes a glorious comeback with ‘The Whale’

Brendan Fraser was a prominent name in the late 90s and early 2000s. Kids who grew up at that time will surely remember the Mummy trilogy, where Fraser acted as the leading protagonist. His popularity dipped since then, owing to his tumultuous marriage and mental health problems.
He tried to make a comeback in recent years, acting in numerous TV shows and films, but found little success. He finally reclaimed fame through the latest The Whale, a psychological drama about an obese professor spending his final days.
Fraser plays the lead character of Charlie, a morbidly obese literature professor. He teaches from his dilapidated home in Idaho through zoom meetings.

He seems to be a jolly teacher to his students, but after the class ends, he returns to his harsh reality.

As his wife and daughter left him a few years ago, he spends most of his day in silence. His silence is only interrupted regularly by Liz, his nurse and best friend.

Charlie tries to rebuild his relationship with his daughter, Ellie but fails every time. Ellie was estranged from her father for many years and is reluctant to keep in contact with him even if she is bribed to do so.

Charlie is deeply affected by it; he tries to find solace by indulging in overeating and finding positivity in life. Though he is speeding up his demise by overeating, Liz helps him eat for the sake of friendship.

Charlie has seen enough bad things happen to him, but still, he tries to find good in humans. He thinks people are amazing and ‘incapable of not caring,’ while living in an empty home uncared for and barely able to move by himself. Can he finally make amends with his family? 117 minutes of Charlie’s saddening life story can tell.

Brendan Fraser’s acting was phenomenal. He worked hard to be fit for this role, gaining 136 kg and wearing a fat suit for the entire shooting of this film. He wanted to be back in the spotlight for the last 10 years, and he finally is.

Before its worldwide release, The Whale premiered in multiple film festivals. Fraser received a standing ovation at the Venice International Film Festival and was praised by many film critics. But apart from his outstanding acting, the film faced backlashes.

Darren Aronofsky is generally famous for portraying human miseries on their darkest level; Requiem for a Dream is a prime example.

The Whale is not so different, portraying an obese character spending his darkest time in life. This kind of portrayal might have passed back in the 2010s, but now it is heavily criticised for insinuating fatphobia.

Moreover, almost the entire film is shot inside an apartment, which might be monotonous and claustrophobic to watch.

A dangerously overweight man is trying to reconnect with his family in the most pitiful way while living in a gloomy apartment— one way to describe this Aronofsky film.

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