In The Heart Of The Sea (12) | Close-Up Film Review


Dir. Ron Howard, US, 2015, 122 mins

Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Brendad Gleeson, Benjamin Walker, Ben Whishaw

Directed by none other than Ron Howard, In The Heart Of The Sea follows author Herman Melville (Whishaw), as he visits the last surviving crew member of whaling ship The Essex, an innkeeper by the name of Thomas Nickerson (Gleeson). His intention is to take Nickerson back to his childhood to retell and relive experiences he has never told a soul, not even his wife. It is the story of The Essex and its encounter with a large whale.

Nickerson turns back the hands of time to 1820, when as a 14 year old cabin boy on the whale oiling ship The Essex, he heads out to sea with veteran whaler and first mate Owen Chase (Hemsworth), and Captain George Pollard (Walker), an inexperienced mariner who was given the position due to his family’s history in whaling; Chase believing the Captain position should have been given to him. As they set out to sea the crew winds up not only battling storms but each other, with big clashes between the Captain and his second in command. With months spent together at sea and only one whale having been caught, all the arguments seem unnecessary when in Ecuador, they meet a Spanish captain who informs them of an excellent location, with one little catch and that comes in the form of a large and vengeful whale. Ignoring all the warnings, the crew heads out and instantly is confronted by this mega beast with devastating results.

From the trailer you may expect several explosive encounters between the crew and this beast of a whale when in fact, there are not all that many just the crew being followed by the whale. Although whaling is a sensitive subject and in this day and age the viewers will be cheering on the whale rather than the crew members, you have to remember that in a time when this experience occurred, individuals were underpaid and would have done just about anything to support their families back on shore.

In The Heart of the Sea is a beautifully created movie with stunning visual effects, camera angles using tilts and look through windows and objects get thrown around. The CGI used to create the whale and the scenes in the ocean are incredibly realistic and breathtaking. When it comes to casting there was no one better for the role of Chase than Hemsworth. Forget the muscular appearance that would have come along with the role of Thor, in this film as a starved young man that has spent months at sea, he appears as skin and bones. Accompanying crew members were also very talented in their portrayal of crew members lost at sea and forced into horrendous situations.

Watching the crew members as they overcome storms, starvation, anxiety and anguish leaves viewers pondering how they would have dealt with such a situation if placed in it. If you were on a desert island, or in a boat at sea with nothing for food, would you survive by any means necessary?

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IN THE HEART OF THE SEA is out now on Digital HD and available on 3D™, Blu-ray™ and DVD 2 May

Author: Michelle Moore

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