Thanks to Roadshow Films we had the chance to see Ron Howard’s In The Heart Of the Sea before its national release. This is our review of the movie, but as usual, no matter what we say, we still recommend you to go and see it at your local cinema because there is no better critic than yourself!
The film follows the journey of the crew of whaling ship The Essex, which is under the command of newcomer captain George Pollard (Benjamin Walker) who thinks his authority is in jeopardy as his first mate Owen Chase (Chris Hemsworth) has the respect of the crew thanks to his years of experience on the sea hunting whales and bringing tons of barrels of whale oil into port.
However, The Essex’s voyage has a terrible turn of events as they encounter the biggest whale ever seen. It’s a true sea monster with a sense of revenge, capable of sinking any boat and taking down survivors one by one, pushing them to the limits of madness and into doing the unthinkable in order to survive for months on the open sea. This is a true story that inspired Herman Melville’s classic novel, “Moby Dick.”
Following the success of “Rush” (2013) award-winning director Ron Howard teams up again with Aussie superstar, Chris Hemsworth, to bring a complex, drama-filled story to life. The tale is told through the eyes of one of The Essex’s youngest crew members, Thomas (Brendan Gleeson). Now at a very advanced age, Thomas decides to open up and share the darkest moments of the journey, a very risky way to narrate the events as it is all based on long flashbacks. However, the excellent script and editing ensure it all works perfectly.
The performances of the entire cast are superb. Chris Hemsworth was so committed to the role that he even lost a ridiculous amount of weight to film some key cinematic moments.
Thus, Hemsworth shines, but the secondary cast members are the ones that really steal the spotlight with the superb Cillian Murphy (Batman Begins) and Tom Holland (The new Spider-man) as the young Thomas.
The special effects are impressive and allow the viewer to feel all the vertigo during some nasty storms on the open sea, as well as the pain of the whales while been hunted. This is carefully and masterfully represented in the film in a respectful way, avoiding morbidity and pretty much leaving a strong message that no matter what, nature will always win.
Overall, In The Heart Of the Sea is an excellent tale, with strong drama and a superb cast. However, it gets a bit slow at some stages and also could disappoint viewers expecting a two-hour battle between men and whale, so don’t allow some of the trailers to fool you.
In The Heart Of the Sea opens in cinemas 3 December 2015