Since 2017 and his Mother !, Darren Aronofsky is primarily focused on his job as a producer and sometimes goes ahead in work or the other, including Michael Cimino – A mirage u.s. of Jean-Baptiste Thoret. Five years waited for the return of the progenitor of Black Swan and Requiem for a dream, which announces finally the title of his last film, The Whale, for the Venice film Festival.
Produced by A24, there was not a lot, if not the appearance of a Brendan Fraser bloated that oscillated between roles mediocre, and galleys personal for a long time, until the announcement of a synopsis: an obese morbid recluse in his apartment, waiting for death without being able to reconnect with his daughter. A program, and more joyful !
In fact, written by Samuel D. Hunter, who adapted his play, The Whale is a closed sticky. During the two hours for the duration of the feature, we will not leave the walls of this apartment in Idaho is evolving in this Brendan Fraser increased prosthetic bouffants. An amazing array to Darren Aronofsky, director of the bluff visual and narrative, than to compel it to these four walls and purge of its frame style effect.
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The format shrinks, the image is dull (the same director of photography, Matthew Libatique – and the same colours as for the Mother !), and the staging arises: Aronofsky focuses on its characters. And what a cast! As we have already mentioned, the main actor is surrounded by the brilliant (and irritating) Sadie Sink discovery in Stranger Things, but also Hong Chau (Inherent Vice, Downsizing…), playing a nursing home hilarious.
Because, yes, in spite of its pitch, bleak and claustrophobic, The Whale is a true dramatic comedy, which if it covers subjects often heavy (depression, overeating…), knows how to handle humour in a subtle refreshing. A delicacy that is found in the staging, sometimes redundant (the film is certainly a few tens of minutes too), but offers beautiful camera movements and games of the background interesting.
If the imagery deployed by the film is not always very subtle (outside constantly rainy and dull until the very end when the sun rises finally…), it’s impossible not to be picked by the emotion when appearing the final credits. And, hopefully, a success synonym of return on the front of the stage to Brendan Fraser.
In cinemas at the beginning of the year 2023.
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