In 1820, crewmen (Chris Hemsworth, Benjamin Walker, Cillian Murphy) aboard the New England vessel Essex face a harrowing battle for survival when a whale of mammoth size and strength attacks with force, crippling their ship and leaving them adrift in the ocean. Pushed to their limits and facing storms, starvation, panic and d...more
In 1820, crewmen (Chris Hemsworth, Benjamin Walker, Cillian Murphy) aboard the New England vessel Essex face a harrowing battle for survival when a whale of mammoth size and strength attacks with force, crippling their ship and leaving them adrift in the ocean. Pushed to their limits and facing storms, starvation, panic and despair, the survivors must resort to the unthinkable to stay alive. Their incredible tale ultimately inspires author Herman Melville to write "Moby-Dick." less
“A well crafted movie that deserves viewing for every bit of its excellence. ”
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They say movies cannot be as good as their books. And when a movie is based on one of the best books of all time, Moby Dick, 165 years after it was published, the bar is really high. However, Ron Howard, acclaimed director of A Beautiful Mind, much like his protagonist Owen Chase (Chris Hemsworth) goes for an all-or-nothing expedition against something so magnificently grand, words will fail to describe its scale. But, it was a joy to watch words and the imagination that has served you come alive in 3D as Howard does a fabulous job of showing how the vast sea could quickly dissipate the petty differences between men and show that our lives and our prejudices are just specks in front of the magnitude of nature.
Way back in 1820s when whale oil was a fortune and petrol dug up from the earth was unheard of, expeditions would risk everything to hunt for whales and Chase, the working class boy born to command crews and ships, fighting against tradition is dared to come back with 2000 barrels of whale oil to claim his Captaincy. However, after an epic success against one whale, Chase and his captain George Hollard find themselves marooned off the coast of Ecuador until their greed is stoked again by a maimed captain who talks about schools of whales and a gigantic, dangerous sperm whale. He was right, completely and as Herman Melville, the writer, who chases the story and tries to get the first hand account from the youngest occupant of the ship, and one of the few survivors, the audience are given a taste of the sea and the beauty of nature's biggest creatures.
In the Heart of the Sea is the epic tale of the ship Essex and the survival of a few members of the crew after years of drifting on the sea and being chased down by the vengeful sperm whale that not only destroys their ship but also attacks their boats again and again until Chase himself chooses to not kill it and make peace with it. It is almost like a beautiful metaphor - the ego and thirst for fame and name that Chase had finally bows to the power of nature and he realises he has nothing to prove as long as his whale-sized ego is bent to his will. Anthony Dod Mantle's cinematography is impressive and so is the soundtrack provided by Roque Banos. Hemsworth who loses a lot of weight to suit his role, finally arrives as the actor he is capable of becoming, supported brilliantly by Cillian Murphy and Benjamin Walker, playing his tragic captain. The movie lacks in powerful dialogues, and the epiphanic moment is hidden a little by focus on dying crew members and the abominalities they had to commit to survive the oceans. That is about the only criticism you can come up with but that hardly takes away anything from what is a gripping tale narrated in flashback.