Just as he did with Mickey Rourke in THE WRESTLER, Aronofsky tries to “rescue” another almost forgotten star of the not-so-distant past in THE WHALE. Brendan Fraser, the hero of countless action films, comedies and indie dramas of the 1990s and early 2000s, is the star of this (almost literal) chamber piece, which is based on a play by Samuel D. Hunter.
It’s the story of a man so overweight he almost can’t leave his armchair, let alone his house. Charlie lives in Idaho, weighs 270 kilos (the actor uses a digital bodysuit to bulk him up) and spends most of his time eating, watching porn and teaching a writing seminar online. Aronofsky examines his life, his health problems and medical emergencies, his personal issues and family traumas that made him the man he is now. It’s clear Charlie doesn’t want to live anymore and he’s slowly eating his way to death.
The movie tries to explore this through the ingenuity and imagination of the director, with the help of expert director of photography Matthew Libatique. But this is Fraser’s show and the actor shines through all the prosthetics with a performance that’s tender, sad and unforgettable. (Chaiya Thongthang)
Darren Aronofsky: FORTUNE COOKIE (1991, K) PI (1998), REQUIEM FOR A DREAM (2000), THE FOUNTAIN (2006), THE WRESTLER (2008), BLACK SWAN (2010), NOAH (2014), MOTHER! (2017), THE TRUTH IS HARD TO FIND THE NEW YORK TIMES: BRIAN DENTON (2017, K)
- Brendan Fraser
- Sadie Sink
- Ty Simpkins
- Hong Chau
- Samantha Morton
- Samuel D. Hunter (nach seinem Theaterstück)
- Matthew Libatique
- Andrew Weisblum
- Rob Simonsen
- Mark Friedberg
- Danny Glicker