The Whale

Based on the play of the same name by Samuel D. Hunter and directed by Darren Aronfsky comes the theatrical adaption of The Whale. Starring Brendan Fraser as Charlie, the story follows a reclusive and morbidly obese English teacher who is coming to the end of his life. His last wish is to reconnect with his estranged daughter for one last chance of redemption.

As the last award nominated film that I was interested in, I couldn’t believe my luck when I had the chance to see it ahead of its initial release. It may seem simple; at times I was reminded of the fact that it was originally a play due to its solo location and small cast of characters, but I appreciated the fact that it was more intimate that way and of course, it helped with the difficult subject matter.

The story was pretty awful. I found it hard to watch at times, but I also couldn’t help but resonate with Charlie and his loneliness. Although that may have been self inflicted, it didn’t make it any less upsetting. I felt his embarrassment and I wish I could have mended his broken heart. At the end of the day, though, it seemed as if his mind was made up.

If Brendan Fraser does not win Oscar for this role, then I don’t know anymore. He put everything he could into Charlie and it moved me to tears. I just sat there at the end of the film in utter disbelief at what I had watched. There were also some brilliant performances by the supporting cast. Hong Chau as Charlie’s friend Liz, Ty Simpkins as missionary Thomas, Samantha Morton as Charlie’s ex Mary and Sadie Sink as Charlie’s daughter Ellie gave it their all.

Overall, The Whale is a film that everybody should watch. It will make you uncomfortable, it will make you cry and it will make you think. While it may not be super strong in its plot, it more than makes up for it in its performances.

Rating: ♥️♥️♥️♥️

Fear Street Part 3: 1666

In the final instalment of the Fear Street trilogy, we are transported back in time to 1666. Finally, we would be able to see the beginning of Sarah Fier’s curse! Not only do we have the chance to witness the events leading up to her death, but we are also able to have a better understanding of who she really was. Meanwhile, back in 1994, the teenagers are once again in a race against time to save Shadyside and put an end to the curse forever.

When the movie started, I’ll admit that I was skeptical. While I’m so happy to have learned more about Sarah, it took a little bit of time for the story to take off. As soon as things picked up though, I was completely transfixed and couldn’t tear my eyes away from the screen. I thought it was interesting as well how the lives of Sarah and Hannah seemed to mimic those of Deena and Sam’s and how at the end of the day the theme of love was at the root of the entire story.

The way in which everything came together was really impressive. I was hoping for a proper wrap up and was not let down in the slightest. There were twists and turns galore, however the main one was pulled off so incredibly well that I was left speechless. Still two days later, I am thinking about it! Now that I have seen all three films, I would love to rewatch them sequentially so that I can catch the little clues and see how they fall into place.

I am still amazed at how much of a treat Fear Street has been for me. Sure I was curious at first, but I never expected to become such a dedicated fan. I hope that this isn’t the last we have seen of this franchise but until then, I am going to seriously consider venturing future into the horror genre.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥.5

Fear Street Part 2: 1978

Following the events of 1994, Deena (Kiana Madeira) and Josh (Benjamin Flores Jr.) track down Christine Berman (Gillian Jacobs), a woman who survived a series of murders back in 1978. Christine, who went by Ziggy (Sadie Sink) back then tells the story of the summer she spent at Camp Nightwing. What started as a seemingly normal time turned deadly when a fellow camp goer becomes possessed by the witch’s curse. Ziggy must put aside her differences with sister Cindy (Emily Rudd) in order to reverse the curse before it’s too late.

Just when I thought I couldn’t like Fear Street more, the second instalment came along. I thought this was much better than the first one. So many things worked and I was completely transfixed the whole way through. By now the story has found its footing and all bets are off. The twists were brilliant and there is something about the camp setting that is so perfectly spooky. I couldn’t get enough of it to be honest.

The characters this time around were more interesting. I liked learning about the dynamics of Ziggy and Cindy’s relationship. There was also Cindy’s boyfriend Tommy (McCabe Slye) and former friend Alice (Ryan Simpkins) who added something extra to the story. I felt like I cared more about everybody this time around which was great. I also appreciated learning more about the feud between Shadyshide and Sunnyvale. It seems like this is going to play an integral role in bringing each movie together and I can’t wait to see how.

Once again, the music was fabulous and really went well with the times. Soundtracks are so important in capturing pivotal cinematic moments and Fear Street has really exceeded here.

I am already very excited for the third and final movie taking place in 1666. I think this one will scare me the most, but I’m ready for it! It will be awesome to see how everything comes to a close.

Rating: ♥♥♥♥