550-pound English professor Charlie tries to reconnect with his 17-year-old daughter Ellie. In return, he offers her to write her school essays as a ghostwriter. Charlie and Ellie became estranged after he left his family to live with his gay lover. When he died, Charlie turned to compulsive eating out of grief.
At first glance, the obese English teacher Charlie (Brendan Fraser) seems like a failed existence. He suffers from binge eating and only moves between the bed and the sofa. His nurse Liz (Hong Chau) comes by every now and then to check on things. When she measures Charlie’s extremely high blood pressure, he refuses to go to the emergency room. Despite the acute danger of death, he does not want to get into debt.
However, he has not given up completely. He seeks contact with his daughter, whose visitation rights he lost after his divorce. Ellie (Sadie Sink) reluctantly accepts the invitation, but when she arrives at her father’s house, she is disgusted with him. The rapprochement is going badly, but Charlie doesn’t want to waste this last chance for reconciliation.
Darren Aronofsky’s film adaptation of the play by Samuel D. Hunter is a hit. All the characters in The Whale feel abandoned. That connects them all. They help each other and slowly find each other. The inspiring chamber play is an excellent film with a superb leading actor.