The Whale (2022)

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Leisher
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The Whale (2022)

Post by Leisher »

“Every record been destroyed or falsified, books rewritten, pictures repainted, statues, street building renamed, every date altered. The process is continuing day by day. History stops. Nothing exists except endless present in which the Party is right.”
Leisher
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The Whale (2022)

Post by Leisher »

I enjoyed this movie. Did I enjoy it as "best picture" or "best actor"? No and perhaps.

Frasier is an extremely large human being who has found comfort in food after suffering a tragedy. I have two problems with this right out of the gate: 1. Life is tough. You have to work past your troubles or you never grow. I know that's easy to say, but it doesn't make it any less true.
2. The food is comfort thing is not played up at all within the film. Yes, he eats, but I feel like they did a very poor job of relaying why he became so large and how the food brings him comfort.

Ultimately, the story fails , imho, because...well, I don't want to spoil it. See it, and you'll know where I was going.

Listen, it's a really good movie. They do hit you with real stuff and nobody comes off as fake, but it didn't blow me away with the story. And I REALLY wanted to love this one. I'm a big Frasier fan. Blast From The Past is a big inside joke factory within my family. My wife's bachelorette party featured a standup cutout of him from The Mummy because he and I apparently looked alike. Probably still do since I'm fatter than I want to be. :D However, go back to that last paragraph.

Frasier's character took the easy way out. I get that he didn't care about himself anymore, but others clearly did. He made the easy and selfish choice, which...duh...he did all along, but that's not a movie that inspires or motivates. Had he faced the actual mountains in front of him, the pain, the weight loss, etc. then I think you have a movie where Frasier can really shine. A sad ending does not make for a "best picture" just because.


Best actor? Perhaps. Frasier does a great job, but every actor in this film does so and I don't think I can say he outshines any of them. Now him gaining weight for the film, and a dangerous amount, is something I think should be in consideration for any award. Not many of these narcissists would ever be caught 5 pounds overweight, let alone 100. That took some dedication. On top of that, being someone who has not worked in the industry in years, I think that merits some consideration. Particularly, due to his character in this new movie and why he hasn't worked for years. I haven't seen all the nominees yet, but unless someone really changed the game, I think Frasier's story makes him a far better and more interesting winner than anyone else.
GORDON
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The Whale (2022)

Post by GORDON »

The eating had a second meaning.

The recurring theme of Moby Dick had at least 3 meanings.

The recurring theme of honesty was pervasive throughout.

Frasier was definitely the best actor of the year.
"Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid."
GORDON
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The Whale (2022)

Post by GORDON »

Leisher wrote: Thu Mar 09, 2023 9:05 pm
Frasier's character took the easy way out. I get that he didn't care about himself anymore, but others clearly did. He made the easy and selfish choice, which...duh...he did all along, but that's not a movie that inspires or motivates.
His ultimate need was to be sure he did one single thing in his life correctly, and he decided that was going to be that his daughter lived a good life. And the only way he was allowed to do that, via court order, was to leave her money. And the only way he could do that would be to die while he still had money in the bank.... while he still had agency, and was able to not let anyone put him in the hospital, to lose that money. So he did what he could do.... he literally committed suicide.

This was shown in the scene when he is first getting in bed, reciting the Moby Dick essay, which is a huge, on the nose story about symbolism. And there, subtly, the pull string for the overhead light, in the form of a noose. He was purposely killing himself. He didn't accidentally get that way through grief, it was premeditated and had exactly the result he wanted.

Even his google history was him tracking his rising BP, waiting to hit that "I'm dead in a few days" number.

It may be the easy easy way out. But from his perspective, it was honest. His life had already ended on every level, his was a futile goal to find honesty, which usually pissed people off. People don't want to be honest. But he'd fucked up his family for love, his ex had a court order to ensure it hurt as much as possible, and the thing he gave up his family for ended up being sad, too, and stopped eating and killed himself in his own way. The thing he pinned his entire life to, killed himself. To Frasier, life was literally over, already.

Eating himself was the easy way out, but he'd already been dead long before. That the director gave him a happy ending is arbitrary, we didn't necessarily need that scene of him inhabiting his happiest moment.... which, incidentally, was not with his boyfriend, but with his daughter.
"Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid."
GORDON
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The Whale (2022)

Post by GORDON »

Another argument supporting suicide: doing so in that way, obesity ---> congestive heart failure, may not actually count as a suicide, so his health insurance and whatever will stay pay off to his daughter.
"Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid."
Leisher
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The Whale (2022)

Post by Leisher »

Genuinely love your breakdown of the film. I think this might be the most in depth you've ever gotten on a film. I agree with a lot of what you said, but not all of it. By the end, yes, his whole purpose was suicide so his daughter could get the money. However, I do not think that was the plan from day one. His ex criticizes him for not being in their daughter's life more, so that option was there despite their agreement, but he had to prove he wanted to be in her life. At the time, Mary had acted out of anger thinking Charlie wanted out of the marriage and being a father. He could have made different choices, but he chose a selfish and self-destructive path after his lover killed himself for being gay (due to his religious upbringing). Instead of dealing with that tragedy and owning up to his choices, he went the easier route and had a pity party for himself. That ultimately became the suicide plan, but it didn't start that way. It was also him making the wrong choice again. The whole movie was filled with people whose lives were better because he was in it. His BF, his ex, and his daughter all loved him. He reached students as an excellent teacher. He helped the missionary kid. You think Ellie would want $100K or her father in her life?

I think the pizza man was symbolizing Charlie's own self-awareness? Charlie was always hiding from him (himself) and when Dan and Charlie finally locked eyes, Charlie saw not only how people see him, but how he sees himself. He was ashamed of his own choices. That's why he always left the money and didn't want Dan to see him.
“Every record been destroyed or falsified, books rewritten, pictures repainted, statues, street building renamed, every date altered. The process is continuing day by day. History stops. Nothing exists except endless present in which the Party is right.”
GORDON
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The Whale (2022)

Post by GORDON »

Sometimes a movie sucks. Sometimes it's ok. Sometimes you turn off your brain and just enjoy, but for some reason this was one of those movies that had me engaged the whole way through, and paying attention.
"Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid."
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