|Call me Ishmael.|
Movie reviews are supposed to help movie goers decide what to see. Most of those who write these reviews seem to have forgotten why people go to see movies.
We go to escape. To enjoy. To be part of something bigger than ourselves.
We do not go to examine the plot line, seek to deride director errors, editing decisions, actor choices or screen writer inadequacies.
Right now in theaters is “In the Heart of the Sea” which is story about a story. Herman Melville, author of “Moby Dick”, sought out the one of the survivors, Tom Holland who had been the youngest of the crew on the whaler ship, Essex. It was a bloody, horrible story, and this survivor needed to wrench the images of memories from his tortured mind.
Author Nathaniel Philbrick researched Melville, the painful consequences of the Essex and the greed of the company who owned the ship. With this incredible history, Philbrook wrote "In the Heart of the Sea".
Interview and relating the story was therapeutic for both the story teller (Tom Holland) and the writer, Melville. Even so, film reviewers turned their noses, criticizing it for lacking “stuff”. At This Site every amateur critic had not read "Moby Dick". One such critic said this.
"Nobody gives a crap about Moby Dick. Just THINKING about the idea of a movie about the friggin' story that inspired the story of Moby Dick puts you to sleep. How did he (Chris Hemsworth) get paid $80 million to make that?!"
For us, the movie was riveting. The actors were strong and skillful. The director was Ron Howard. The setting was true to the times. The interaction between Melville and the survivor was emotional and bonding. Knowing the story of the Essex and its demise hung over the audience, hoping “No, not that!”
Engrossing, hope, loss and gain, greed, a dirty industry, eminent death, and finally redemption—all make for a movie that rises above “Krampus” or “Trumbo”.
Please see what the whaling industry became before its demise.
More than that, see what the current intelligentsia reads or has not read.