Film Review: In The Heart Of The Sea

December 13th, 2015 | by Elodie Cure
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On December 13, 2015
Last modified:December 13, 2015


In The Heart Of the Sea is a retelling of the true story that inspired the famous novel Moby Dick.

Our Elodie Cure takes time to review Director Ron Howard’s new film In The Heart Of The Sea, starring Chris Hemsworth and Tom Holland.

The heart-wrenching epic, In The Heart of the Sea, is the kind of adventure film we would love to see more often. Based on the true story of the whaling ship ESSEX, that inspired Herman Melville’s novel Moby Dick. Known to most everyone, the book relates the story of Captain Ahab and his self-destructive obsession to seek and destroy the legendary whale called Moby-Dick. However, the real story is different and just as intriguing on many levels and this is what the entire film is dedicated to bringing to light.


Carried by the expert hand of Ron Howard (Apollo 13, Rush), the film shows not only the dreadful and real circumstances that caused the shipwreck of the ESSEX, but also the survival story, both physical and mental, of the crew who are relegated to castaways for 90 days at a distance of more than a thousand miles from land.

Credit: In the Heart of the Sea

Credit: In the Heart of the Sea

Starring Chris Hemsworth (The Avengers, Thor, Rush), Tom Holland (Locke, The Impossible), Benjamin Walker (Abraham Lincoln, Flags of our Father) and Cillian Murphy (Inception, The Dark Knight), In The Heart of the Sea is the surprise we needed before Christmas. This fantastic story is delightful and can transport whoever watches it in another world, a sea world ruled by a gigantic and magnificent white whale.

The film opens when the original writer of the novel visits one of the last remaining survivors of the ESSEX vessel, Tom Nickerson, who was only fourteen when the tragic events took place. The former seaman then explains the tribulations the crew went through and reveals unspoken secrets that had changed him forever.

Credit: In the Heart of the Sea

Credit: In the Heart of the Sea

The first part of this story promises to wow the audience with a wide spectrum of splendid images and scenes. The photography is impressive and striking, whether it be the maritime decors, the storm scenes, the shots of whale swimming in front of the ship, the shipwreck or even the whale itself. Through those amazing pictures Ron Howard reminds us, without any fuss, that against the immensity of nature a man can seem like nothing.

The second part of Nickerson’s tale is where the secrets that made him sick for years are exposed for all to see. Needing to resort to unthinkable actions such as cannibalism to survive offshore on simple rowing boats equipped with only ors, the sailors decay is powerful imagery, as the struggle with decomposing bodies, blazing sun and a devastating storm.

Then comes this poetic scene, when the first mate, Chase looks in the eyes of the whale and the hatred goes away. Its one of the best scenes in cinema for this year.

Story continues below

Credit: In the Heart of the Sea

Credit: In the Heart of the Sea

More than a simple action film, In the Heart of the Sea endeavors to tell how the survival instinct can bring individuals to question their deepest convictions and moral values.

One can salute the performance of the actors and in particular Chris Hemsworth’s work. Unrecognisable, from his role in the Marvel films, he throws himself single-mindedly into the role of the first mate of the ESSEX and switches from the strong and determined figure of the beginning of the film to a weak and desperate wretch in a blink of an eye.

To conclude, In the Heart of the Sea is solid entertainment supported by an enchanting soundtrack, great emotional imagery and well-portrayed characters. It is more a survival story than the action-packed whale-fighting film that the trailer promises. It was a delight.  See it today.


Elodie Cure is a Contributor to ComiConverse. Follow her on Twitter: @Elodie_Cure

In the Heart of the Sea
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In The Heart Of the Sea is a retelling of the true story that inspired the famous novel Moby Dick.

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