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The Whale

A reclusive English teacher tries to reconnect with his estranged daughter amidst his struggle with obesity.


Why watch this film?

Darren Aronofsky ('Mother!', 'Black Swan') is a controversial director. Some love him, others hate him. And 'The Whale', a drama nominated for an Oscar, is likely to intensify this split between opposing sides, with well-defined questions: is it a good movie? Or is it bad? Is it in good taste? Or is it, deep down, in bad taste? 'The Whale' is, after all, a complex film: it's about Charlie (Brendan Fraser, in the role of his life), an English teacher who always seems to see the positive side of things. The obstacle in his life, however, is his weight: over the past few years, Charlie has gained a lot of weight and can no longer get up from the couch, becoming dependent on nurse Liz (Hong Chau). His life is limited as a result. In addition to the difficulty of getting around, being stuck on the couch, there's an element of shame. Charlie doesn't like to be seen. During distance learning classes, he always leaves the camera off, claiming it's broken. Meanwhile, when someone knocks on the door, he usually doesn't interact. The pizza delivery guy, for example, leaves everything at the door, while the money is already in the mailbox. He doesn't want to be seen, in short. Charlie's routine, however, begins to change when Ellie (Sadie Sink) enters (or returns?) to his life. She is the distant daughter of the protagonist, who has a bad relationship with him and with anyone else. She is angry, reactive, and even violent. But not to Charlie, who wants to reconnect with his daughter and correct past mistakes. It's reminiscent of the plot of 'The Wrestler', which also deals with a man who needs to revisit issues of fatherhood. Speaking, then, about friendship, family, and religion, Aronofsky creates a depressive, down-to-earth plot that is emotional. The absolute highlight, however, is Fraser, who is in the role of his career.



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Plot summary

A reclusive, morbidly obese English teacher attempts to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter.

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