The film is about a reclusive overweight English teacher, played by Fraser, who attempts to reconnect with his seventeen-year-old daughter, played by Sadie Sink.
After footage of the sobbing actor went viral, The Rock has now paid tribute to Fraser, who starred in Johnson's first ever film - The Mummy Returns - in 2001.
The wrestler turned actor wrote: "Man this makes me so happy to see this beautiful ovation for Brendan.
"He supported me coming into his Mummy Returns franchise for my first ever role, which kicked off my Hollywood career.
"Rooting for all your success brother and congrats to my bud Darren Aronofsky. #TheWhale."
Man this makes me so happy to see this beautiful ovation for Brendan. He supported me coming into his Mummy Returns franchise for my first ever role, which kicked off my Hollywood career. Rooting for all your success brother and congrats to my bud Darren Aronofsky. #TheWhale 👏🏾 https://t.co/SNBLPHHmEZ— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) September 4, 2022
With just eight reviews, Rotten Tomatoes critics have, so far, scored the film at 75 percent.
James Mottram wrote for South China Morning Post: "This is a transcendent, triumphant film. Without doubt, the Oscar race has begun and Aronofsky and Fraser are at the head of the queue."
The Playlist's Jack King said: "What The Whale boasts in abundance — in this riveting study of a deeply broken man, suffocated by nine years of self-immolation — is a rare and deep compassion, elevated by Brendan Fraser’s transformative turn."
Robert Ruggio from AwardsWatch said: "The Whale wouldn’t be as effective if it wasn’t for the incredible lead performance given by Brendan Fraser...and I don’t think anyone could have played Charlie the way Fraser did."
The Next Big Picture's Tom O'Brien said: "The fact that Fraser is so good in the role and that Aronofsky is so skilled at shaping the performance combine to make The Whale a uniquely powerful film experience."
However, as you would expect, not every critic rated the film as highly as others.
Collider's Brian Formo wrote: "It is inorganic, gimmicky, manipulative, and its lessons are simplistic. As a character, Charlie remains mostly a body. He has a kindness to him, but this role is mostly to react to the wants and needs of others."
TheWrap's Ben Croll thought: "Most of the fatalism comes from a heavy-handed style that sees this closed world as a closed circuit, a place for figurative characters to come and express what they Represent. And then to come back the next day and do it again."
The Whale is set to hit US cinemas on Friday 9 December, 2022.
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