This screen adaptation of the non-fiction book written by Nathaniel Philbrick is a true visual delight, Ron Howard movies are always amazing to watch and In the Heart of the Sea is up there with the best of them. The book tells a story of survival on the high seas and of man against beast, it became the inspiration for the story of Moby Dick.
In the 1800's there were huge profits to be made from whaling, ships could be out at sea for years at a time in the hunt for the rich oil that was used across the world for lighting before the dawn of electricity. Nantucket in the U.S had become the whaling capital of the world and one of the wealthiest areas in America. Nantucketers had recognised that the sperm whale provided a far more lucrative catch than any other whale, but catching the Sperm whale provided a much harder challenge, they were much more aggressive and faster. Tales of mythical sea beast were told by the crews of these vessels but one tale stands out and that is the story of the Essex that set sail from Nantucket in 1820 and never returned. The story goes that Captain Pollard, first mate Owen Chase and their crew head out deep into the Pacific Ocean in search of a large pod of whales but when they do find their catch they discover that a huge white bull whale is very protective of the pod. The crew has some success, harpooning a number of sperm whales but the white whale attacks the boats and ultimately turns it's attention to the Essex, sinking the vessel and leaving the crew adrift on the few whaling boats that are intact. Just eight men survived the ordeal suffering extreme starvation they turned to cannibalism to survive, the tragedy received international attention striking fear into the worlds whaling community.
I have to say that this is a film that I regret not seeing at the Cinema, the camera work is amazing, providing a truly immersive experience for the viewer and the effects are exceptional. It is not just the visuals that are great in this film, the cast is packed full of talent with stand out performances from the likes of Cillian Murphy and Brendan Gleeson. The film was not a great success at the box office and it would be easy to overlook this movie, but if you are looking for a good action adventure that will keep you on the edge of your seat, then give In the Heart of the Sea a go – Personally I loved every salt soaked second of it.