Brendan Fraser's comeback role in 'The Whale' – Was it a celebrated return or fat phobia in cinema?

    Here are the details about Brendan Fraser's celebrated return in 'The Whale'. While fans cheered Fraser's triumphant comeback, some decried the movie's premise as inherently dehumanizing.

    Brendan Fraser (Source: Entertainment Weekly)

    Brendan Fraser (Source: Entertainment Weekly)

    The Return of Brendan Fraser to Hollywood's Limelight

    Brendan Fraser's resurgence into Hollywood's glowing spotlight with his role in Darren Aronofsky's film The Whale had many long-time fans celebrating his return. The film, which premiered to a thunderous six-minute standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival, also sparked controversy and divided opinions. Let's plunge into the waves of Fraser's latest venture.

    A Star Reborn – "Everyone has missed him"

    There was a time when Brendan Fraser was the Hollywood darling, riding high on hits like George of the Jungle and The Mummy franchise. Then, as mysteriously as a desert mirage, he seemed to vanish. "Everyone has missed him. Seeing him back on the screen, it was like an old friend was back," said film and media historian Chris Yogerst. 

    His absence from big Hollywood films was so profound that in 2018, GQ published a profile asking, "What ever happened to Brendan Fraser?" As reported by GQ, Fraser detailed years of injuries, surgeries, personal loss, divorce, and allegations of inappropriate conduct by a former president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.

    Brendan Fraser (Source: The Telegraph)

    The Comeback's Ripple Effect – Celebration and Controversy

    The Whale, in which Fraser portrayed a 600-pound reclusive English teacher, has been both lauded and criticized. "I think it's definitely going to be a point of contention in the discourse," noted Nicholas Baer, an assistant professor of film studies.

    "It's so telling that so many only see fat people as 'humanized' in media that shows us doing exactly what they expect," wrote author Aubrey Gordon on Twitter, accusing the movie's premise of being inherently dehumanizing. Actress Pia Glenn also lamented Fraser's comeback through this film, writing "I know I won't see it" on Twitter.

    Brendan Fraser (Source: Los Angeles Times)

    However, the emotional resonance of Fraser's comeback story cannot be denied. "[The Whale] is offering us an opportunity to kind of recognize the virtue and the kind of fundamental decency of Brendan Fraser, who has been really wronged by the industry and has long suffered," Baer said.

    Whether you're nostalgic for Bedazzled or skeptical of The Whale, Brendan Fraser's reemergence in Hollywood was a phenomenon worth watching. The waves of Fraser's comeback surely made a splash.

    Several parts of the text in this article, including the title, were generated with the help of an AI tool.