There’s been chatter – both negative and positive – around Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale. While Brendan Fraser’s performance as the whale-sized man, Charlie, has been praised, the fat-shaming inherent in the story has been reviled. Neither claim is worth much discussion. The real issue with this film is how painfully the stakes for Charlie are established – heart pain while he watches porn – and maintained – more heart pain without the porn – until the climax where he pigs out like a crazy man.
The film would actually have been improved with more of the gross eating scenes. It would at least have been a relief from the clunky story of Charlie reconnecting with his angry teenaged daughter. The only thing worth noting about this film’s narrative is an essay the daughter wrote about Moby Dick proclaiming that the excessive descriptions of the whale are only there to distract the reader from the author’s sad life. And so, yes, gross-eating = whale. And that’s about it.