Have you ever wondered what Thor and Spider-Man would look like if they had been starved for months? In The Heart of the Sea provides you that opportunity.
In The Heart of the Sea is a retelling of the real account that inspired Herman Melville to write the famous American epic, Moby Dick. This came as quite the shock to learn. I went into the film thinking it was just the tale of Moby Dick. To find out that it was actually the real story behind the hunt for the monstrous white whale changed my perspective not only of the film but also of the story itself.
The plot follows essentially two stories. First it follows the story of Herman Melville (Ben Whishaw) as he convinces an old man named Tom Nickerson (Brendan Gleeson) to tell him of his turbulent experiences on board the whaling ship, the Essex, as a young man (played by Tom Holland). The second part of the story follows the crew of the Essex itself at the time when the man was on-board. He recounts his first voyage on a whaling ship and how Captain George Pollard (Benjamin Walker) and his first mate Owen chase (Chris Hemsworth) navigated the seas. However, all goes awry when an attempt to catch whales for oil incurs the vengeance of a monstrous white whale which brings down the Essex and proceeds to haunt the surviving crew members as they are lost at sea for months struggling to survive. If starvation and thirst weren’t enough to contend with, the recurring vengeance of a whale sure is.
Before the film was even half over I decided I would have to watch it again. Whether you believe that the real account of the Essex’s sinking is true or not, the story portrayed in the film is one of the trials that sailors in that day would have had to face if their ships were ever brought down. It emphasizes the strength of the human spirit and the will to survive while also pushing those to their limits. The film shows how the will to survive eventually will make even the most reasonable men do the unspeakable. I believe this is where the film truly shines.
One complaint that must be said of the film was the inconsistency of the accents used, particularly the one used by Chris Hemsworth. That being said, it doesn’t detract from the film itself and other than that, the acting is well done. Overall, I recommend In The Heart of the Sea, but be warned, if you didn’t already have an irrational fear of whales, you may gain one.
- Matthew Von Lukawiecki