IN THE HEART OF THE SEA – review

In the Heart of the Sea

Director Ron Howard is bringing us the true story that Moby Dick was based off of.  This is the story of the Essex a ship mainly used for whaling.  Whaling in the time of the 1800’s was a way of life this was the only way to get oil to run the lights.  Many of us including myself did not realize that Moby Dick was based of true events written out by First Mate Owen Chase and Cabin Boy Thomas Nickerson.  I don’t think I have ever not liked a Ron Howard Directed Flick… Here we go.heart5

Owen Chase (Chris Hemsworth) is a young man who is as stated in the paragraph above the First Mate for the Whaling ship the Essex.  He has enough experience to be the Captain, but doesn’t have the lineage.  Captain George Pollard (Benjamin Walker) is picked to guide the ship and bring back the Whale oil.  Owen was suppose to be the Captain of this voyage, but Pollards father intervened.  They didn’t make Pollard a villain, and Owen the Hero, but it is implied and you can feel the tension throughout the flick.

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We start to hear the story from a older Tom Nickerson (Brendon Gleeson) telling this doomed voyage to Herman Melville (Ben Whishaw).  In the movie Nickerson never spoke of the voyage not even to his wife (Michelle Fairley).  In the history books (Just a side note) he helped Owen Chase pen a book that inspired Moby Dick.  heart3

Young Nickerson (Tom Holland) is the youngest of the Essex crew trying to make some money he is a orphan whose parents had passed away. Again, at this time Whale Oil is what the world lived off of.  No one had found black oil in the ground yet.  The need for the oil makes the crews of ships like the Essex to make discussions without thinking it over.  All they think about is getting the Oil and getting home some trips took 3 years to complete.  This along with Pollard being Jealous of Owen makes the voyage doomed from the start.

They find one whale in a year, and when it seems all the whales have vanished from the seas a quick shore leave gives them information on a pod of whales that would fill the ship in no time.  They are also warned about a giant white whale.  This whale had already took out one ship.  heart 4

Yes, the ship heads out to sea where no other ships usually travel in search of this Whale Pod and the giant white whale.  We all know the rest …. Whale does destroy the ship, but the part of the story you haven’t heard is how they survived over 80 days at sea.

This is a truly beautiful flick.  Ron Howard has again out done himself and brought us not just an amazing film to look at, but composer Roque Banos brings us I think one of the best sound tracks that goes with the flick of the year.

This missing part of the flick is character development, the only one we really get to know is Owen Chase.  If we had a little more development of the characters around him I think the audience would be more vested into the overall outcome.  Chris is really great in this flick, and shows he does have some acting chops, not just Thor.

I grade In The Heart Of The Sea a B.  I enjoyed the flick, and if you go see it, please see it in 3D.  The effects and film Howard brings us is stunning.

Brad Watts

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