In The Heart Of The Sea is based on a whaling ship preyed upon by a sperm whale in 1820 and stranded its crew at sea for over ninety days and thousands of miles away from home.
This film, based on the novel of the same name by Nathaniel Philbrick, has the makings of epic action-adventure and somewhat fails to ever realise this potential. It tells us the basis of the story it inspired, of the Essex Tragedy of an 1820 whaling expedition gone wrong. Between the clashing of egos and bad navigation decisions, we see a portion of the Moby Dick story that was left out of the story many of us know.
In The Heart Of The Sea may seem like the classic retelling of man against nature, the film hardly let you fully connect with its story or connect with the characters, holding the audience at a fair distance away as only observers and quite often merely being a visual marvel. The film suffers with deciding whether it’s about man against the mythical beast that would be Moby Dick or a philosophical look at the darkest parts of our being. And although there is a depressingly sombre tone draped over the film, the lack of engagement hardly makes the creature terrifying.
Despite the close attention to detail and the cinematography enhanced with visual effects to pull me through the more laborious moments, it’s somewhat disappointing attempt at what it could have been.