Everyone aboard! Ron Howard is back with a powerful retelling of a real disaster. In the Heart of the Sea explores what happens when a 20-man crew is stranded at sea. Will they survive or will they sail off the edge of sanity?
In the Heart of the Sea gives us a survivor’s account of the Essex whaleship disaster. The film traces the whaling crew’s travels, and eventual travails, as they are faced with a mammoth-sized sperm whale. When they find themselves stranded 2000 nautical miles off the coast of South America, the crew must do whatever it takes to survive…even if it means that their actions might haunt them for the rest of their lives.
It’s easy to convey the physical impact of a disaster like the Essex ordeal. However, In the Heart of the Sea‘s beauty lies in the fact that it goes beyond just the physical aspect. The film explores how the disaster, and the crew’s own actions, affected their psyche. And thankfully, director Ron Howard doesn’t take an oversimplified approach to this. The result is a subtle yet haunting view at everything that the sailors endured, which goes beyond anything you could’ve imagined.
This would’ve been nearly impossible with a sub-par lead cast. Fortunately, that’s not a problem Ron Howard had to deal with. Chris Hemsworth is exemplary as Owen Chase, the First Mate and driving force of the Essex. He perfectly embodies his character – whether he’s depicting Chase in happier days or after he has fought a losing battle against survival. However, it is his rapport with Cillian Murphy that is responsible for the film’s emotional impact. Though Murphy has very little screen time, it’s safe to say that he makes the most of it. In fact, a scene featuring just him and Hemsworth is bound to make you tear up. But they are far from the only amazing actors in the film, which also boasts of noteworthy performances by Brendan Gleeson, Ben Whishaw and Benjamin Walker.
Above all, though, In the Heart of the Sea is a visual delight. Whether or not things are smooth sailing for the characters, every frame is breathtakingly beautiful. The outstanding cinematography, combined with the riveting story, makes it hard to ever look away from the screen.
All things considered, this film is a fine addition to both Ron Howard and the cast’s filmography. It is a gritty, no-holds-barred look at a real tragedy like we’ve never seen before. Beware, though. It isn’t for the faint of heart!
Why You Should Watch this Movie:
In the Heart of the Sea is a beautifully made film that shows us humanity at its best and worst. Featuring commendable performances, breathtaking visuals and a noteworthy script, it is a must watch this weekend.