‘The Whale’ TIFF Review: A Shattering Comeback for Brendan Fraser

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When you look at the premise for a film like The Whale, one can only imagine how this premise could be difficult to pull off successfully. In the hands of a filmmaker like Darren Aronofsky, much suspicions could be raised, but he manages to pull off what might be his most hopeful film thus far. Perhaps that’s not to say he doesn’t find himself potentially dragging his viewers back into a territory of simple misery porn when the central focus is Brendan Fraser’s character and his deathly obesity, yet the case being presented is far more thoughtful. And like Requiem for a Dream was for many, The Whale can be tough – but when Darren Aronofsky is at his best, he shows himself to be a wholly thoughtful filmmaker. This is where I find The Whale lands.

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Control – Review

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The idea of a biopic about Ian Curtis as directed by a photographer for Joy Division already in itself sounds so promising especially for Joy Division fans. Given as they are one of my all-time favourite bands, a part of my own experience of watching Control may have indeed been influenced by a partial bias rising from the music alone, but nevertheless, the story of Ian Curtis was always one that had broken my heart. Yet years after his own death, Joy Division’s popularity and legacy has only remained so strong. Being a huge fan of their work it was a more harrowing experience than I remember it having been, when I was unfamiliar with Joy Division’s work. After having only gotten into their music all the more just earlier this year, coming back to Control has only reaffirmed why they are one of my favourite bands just as Ian Curtis’s legacy within rock music has lasted through the many years since his untimely death for they nevertheless defined a generation through their small (but excellent) musical output.

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