The true story of a whaling ship in 1820 that was sunk by a colossal
white whale; a story that would inspire the classic novel Moby Dick.
In the Heart of the Sea (2015)
Directed by Ron Howard
Written by Charles Leavitt
Starring Chris Hemsworth, Benjamin Walker, Brendan Gleeson,
Ben Whishaw, Cillian Murphy, Tom Holland, Michelle Fairley,
Paul Anderson, Frank Dillane, Joseph Mawle
Based on the book In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy
of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick
I think that all of the negative reviews this film received came from a lack of action. Granted, the trailers billed In the Heart of the Sea as a man vs. nature action film, which it clearly is not apart from the actual sinking of the Essex. What the film actually is is a dramatic retelling of how a crew of whalers were forced into insurmountable odds and had to figure out a way to survive the vast emptiness of the sea. In that respect, this film is fantastic and does tremendous justice to the real-life tragedy of a group of Nantucket whalers who tempted fate and unleashed a monster upon themselves.
While I normally enjoy Chris Hemsworth, I do believe he was miscast. His natural Australian accent bled through his terrible American like a slit wrist and I found it heavily distracting. The rest of the cast was excellent, though, particularly Brendan Gleeson and Ben Whishaw, who provided the framing device as grown-up Thomas Nickerson and author Herman Melville respectively. Also, the digital effects team who designed the whale deserve all sorts of praise. It's effects like these that continually remind me that we live in a golden age for movies.
Though I had expected an action movie, I remained pleasantly surprised once I came to terms with the film's true genre. This tale of harrowing odds and human survival is as inspiring as it is terrifying. The monstrous whale that destroyed the Essex is only a taste of the fearsome creatures that lurk beneath the waves. In the Heart of the Sea simply gives audiences a glimpse at the true power of nature and how no matter what man tries to do to this world, nature will always win in the end.