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Fat People Shouldn’t Watch Brendan Fraser’s ‘The Whale,’ Warns Film Critic

Photo: Sam Aronov / Shutterstock.com / A24
Brendan Fraser, "The Whale"

The 53-year-old “Mummy” star, Brendan Fraser, has seemingly made a massive comeback to Hollywood and the big screen after the debut of his film “The Whale” at the Venice Film Festival received a 6-minute standing ovation that brought him to tears.

As the official theatrical release nears — a mere three months away — reviews of the film, directed by Darren Aronofsky, have started to pour in.

Critics of Brendan Fraser’s “The Whale” are warning fat people not to watch it.

“I can’t recommend in good conscience that fat people watch The Whale,” film critic Katie Rife wrote in a semi-viral tweet.

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“I can’t recommend that skinny people watch it either, since it reinforces the notion that fat people are objects of pity who have brought their suffering upon themselves through lack of coping skills.”

In the movie, Fraser plays a man named Charlie who abandoned his family for his lover.

When she eventually passes away, Charlie starts to binge eat out of pain and guilt for his past mistakes, leading him to morbid obesity at a weight of 600 pounds.

However, Charlie chases one last shot at redemption by attempting to reconnect with his daughter, Ellie, played by “Stranger Things” actress Sadie Sink.

(Warning for light movie spoilers down below)

“Massive red flags for EDs and fat phobia,” Rife continues, “the main character endures over an hour of the cruelest verbal abuse imaginable, and later tries to commit suicide by food.”

She claims that for years, she struggled with bulimia and eating disorders and found the movie to be “incredibly triggering.”

Since Fraser had to be put into a fat suit, and because of some major plot points throughout the movie, Rife claims that “no actually fat peoples were involved in the production.”

However, the screenwriter for the film, Samuel D. Hunter, revealed during the TIFF Tribute Awards that “the story at the heart of ‘The Whale’ and the character of Charlie draw from some deep and very difficult personal truths” for him.

He talked about his childhood and how growing up in north Idaho as a closeted gay child who attended a religious high school resulted in him using food as a form of “self-medication.”

At a certain point, Fraser’s character refuses to go to the hospital even though he has the money to pay the bills.

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“The movie treats this as a combination of selflessness and suicidality, never considering the very obvious reason why a 650lb person would avoid doctors,” Rife claims, which would be because of a concept called “medical fatphobia.”

Medical fatphobia is the stigma public health foundations hold against fat people.

In the movie, Rife also recalls a scene that she watched in which Fraser’s character drops his keys and struggles to pick them back up — “PEOPLE WERE LAUGHING,” she exclaims.

Despite all of these grievances, Rife does praise Fraser’s performance in the film.

“And yes, Brendan Frasier is very good, and most of the humanity/sensitivity/sympathy in the movie comes from his performance,” she adds at the end of her thread.

Rife’s sentiments towards Fraser have been echoed by critics who rave about his performance in the film and shower the actor with praise.

“His performance is as openly-hearted as it is expertly calibrated,” Hunter said of Fraser’s performance in the film. “Brendan has lifted this character to heights I could have never imagined.”

“Fraser is a better actor — slyer, subtler, more haunting — than he has ever been,” Variety states in their review.

“But most of ‘The Whale’ simply isn’t as good as Brendan Fraser’s performance. For what he brings off, though, it deserves to be seen.”

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Isaac Serna-Diez is an Assistant Editor who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Since graduating from Rutgers University, he spends most of his free time gaming or playing Quadball. Keep up with his rants about current events on his Twitter.