Format: DVD from Franklin Grove Public Library through interlibrary loan on basement television.
You have to know going in that The Whale is not going to be a happy movie. Darren Aronofsky, who made Requiem for a Dream, The Wrestler, Pi, and Black Swan does not make happy movies. His movies are deep, the stories are intense and interesting, but they are not happy. Many of Aronofsky’s films are about people who are extreme in some way—in their appetites, in their actions, and The Whale is no different. Brendan Fraser rightfully got a great deal of hype for this role, and this is a film that centers entirely on his performance, aided ably by his entire supporting cast.
Charlie (Fraser) is an online English teacher who tells his students that the camera on his laptop is broken. The truth is that he refuses to turn on the camera because he is morbidly obese. Charlie isn’t merely fat, but 700 pounds fat, unable to easily rise from his chair or move without a walker, blood pressure double a safe number obese. From what we can see, Charlie is a pretty good English teacher and seems to genuinely care about his students.