NZ release: 02 February 2023
Suicide themes, sexual material, drug use and offensive language Rated on: 20 December 2022
What's it about?
The Whale is a drama film that follows Charlie, a morbidly obese and reclusive English tutor, who spends his days teaching online writing classes and ordering take-out meals. Liz, Charlie's carer and only friend, becomes gravely concerned for his health when his blood pressure skyrockets and sends him into congestive heart failure. Refusing to go to hospital, Charlie turns his attention towards Ellie, his estranged and troubled teenage daughter.
- Directed by Darren Aronofsky
- Runtime: 117 minutes
- Screenwriter Samuel D. Hunter adapted the script from his 2012 play of the same name
- Brendan Fraser and Hong Chau's performances received a host of acting awards and nominations
Why did it get this rating?
There is recurring discussion of a character's suicide after being rejected by their church for being gay. The main character deals with his grief and self-loathing by binge-eating, despite being told it will kill him.
Sexual material is low level but clearly aimed at an adult audience. A character is briefly shown from behind as he masturbates to a pornographic video of two men. There is no nudity shown. Sexual intercourse and masturbation are discussed briefly on other occasions.
Teenagers are shown smoking cannabis. One character has their food spiked with sleeping medicine, and another is said to have a drinking problem. The effects of regular drug use are discussed in a negative light.
There are several uses of the words "f*ck", "sh*t", "b*tch", and "f*ggot". The language is sometimes used in aggressive and belittling contexts.
If you or someone you know is affected by an eating disorder, there are ways to get help:
- Visit Eating Disorders Association New Zealand for more information
- Free call or text 1737 any time for support from a trained counsellor
- Contact Lifeline
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