Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Take 32: In the Heart of the Sea

Tuesday: My "take" on a film.



"Based on the incredible true story that inspired Moby Dick."

A massive white whale attacks and destroys a ship under the command of an inexperienced, prideful, and greedy captain. Herman Melville's novel, Moby Dick, is a fictionalized version of this actual event. Directed by Ron Howard, In the Heart of the Sea portrays the story of the 1820s disastrous expedition of the whaling ship Essex, and Melville's desire to write the tale.

The film opens with Herman Melville (Ben Whishaw) arriving in Nantucket where he coaxes the full account from Tom Nickerson (Brendan Gleeson), the last living survivor of the ill-fated voyage. The story flashes back to the time of his youth as they prepare to sail, and resurfaces periodically to the aged Nickerson recounting the events to Melville, purging his soul of suppressed ghastly memories.

HERMAN MELVILLE
The Devil loves unspoken secrets,
especially those that fester in a man's soul.

Benjamin Walker portrays the ship's captain, George Pollard, a man who came to that title mainly by family status. His Nantucket bloodline runs deep, a fact he holds over First Mate Owen Chase (Chris Hemsworth), an implant to the island--a "landsman"--descendant of farmers. They clash in leadership styles but share traits of arrogance and greed.

I found the story and movie more interesting than Moby Dick (but admittedly, I haven't given that novel much effort since high school lit). And, at risk of showing my ignorance, I didn't know Moby Dick came from a true story until learning about this film. 

The quality cinematography and special effects, along with some enormous action, kept my interest despite a few slows scenes of the crew adrift. It's worth watching this (can't resist the phrase)...whale of a tale.



Notes on content:
  • No sexual situations or nudity except for a risqué figure of a woman carved in whalebone.
  • Some mild swearing, numerous religious profanities and vain references to Deity.
  • Violence of whale harpooning, some bloody scenes especially while butchering a whale for the blubber. Later, violence of the whale attacks, along with death and injuries. Disturbing images of the emaciated crew adrift, and implied abhorrent methods of survival (not shown on screen).

No comments:

Post a Comment