Very often film adaptations tend to exaggerate the book and blow things out of proportion. While with The Heart of the Sea, you see the reverse and for good reason too.
In the winter of 1820, the New England whaling ship Essex was assaulted by something no one could believe: a whale of mammoth size and will, and an almost human sense of vengeance. The real-life maritime disaster would inspire Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick.
But that told only half the story. “In the Heart of the Sea” reveals the encounter’s harrowing aftermath, as the ship’s surviving crew is pushed to their limits and forced to do the unthinkable to stay alive. Braving storms, starvation, panic and despair, the men will call into question their deepest beliefs, from the value of their lives to the morality of their trade, as their captain searches for direction on the open sea and his first mate still seeks to bring the great whale down.
I think if you’ve read Moby-Dick you will find this “origin story” quite interesting.
In typical Ron Howard style this movie features some brilliant cinematography. In fact you can’t tell that the whale is CGI because you can see the sense of fear in the eyes of Chris Hemsworth’s character the moment he catches sight of the giant whale.
What I liked is that this movie has potential for the usual shallow thrills of explosions and plot holes (Michael Bay I’m looking at you) but instead we get a deep story and the climax of it something you won’t expect. Heck I didn’t even think the movie would end the way it did but that’s fantastic.
Like I said, if you’ve read Moby-Dick, this is a great “origin story” and if you haven’t read the book then go read it after watching this movie and you’ll get a complete perspective on what Ron Howard was trying to do.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
The only thing I have to warn you about is that the movie does seem a little long at times.
In The Heart of the Sea opens in cinemas 3 Dec 2015
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