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Critic's warning that 'fat people' shouldn't see The Whale has fans concerned

Critic's warning that 'fat people' shouldn't see The Whale has fans concerned

People have been celebrating the so-called Brenaissance, but a critic feels his new movie might not be for everyone

A critic's warning that 'fat people' shouldn't watch The Whale has got fans who were excited to see the movie concerned.

Brendan Fraser stars in Darren Aronofsky’s forthcoming drama, which follows a 600lb man called Charlie as he tries to reconnect with his teenage daughter. 

Fans of Fraser have been celebrating the so-called Brenaissance, which has seen the much-loved actor return to our screens; however, critic Katie Rife doesn't reckon his upcoming film is for everyone.

Fans have been delighted by Fraser's return.
The Canadian Press / Alamy Stock Photo

Taking to Twitter, she wrote: "I can’t recommend in good conscience that fat people watch The Whale.

"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."

She added that the movie featured 'massive red flags' for eating disorders and fat phobia, and she found it 'incredibly triggering'.

"You can tell that no actually fat peoples were involved in the production," she wrote, adding: "I’m really feeling like s**t after that viewing experience. There’s a scene where the main character drops a key and can’t pick it up, and PEOPLE WERE LAUGHING."

Her tweets have provoked a mixed response, with some fans who were excited to see the movie expressing their concern.

One person wrote: "I was so afraid of that. As a person who has struggled with her weight, binge eating, shame eating and fat abuse all my life I'm just not sure I can emotionally handle a film like this. Even for Brendan Fraser."

While another added: "Whooooa – thanks for the heads up."

However, others made it clear they would still be seeing the film regardless.

One Twitter user said: "What if there are obese people who want to see the movie and who won't get upset at such things?

"They just want to see an Aronofsky film and Fraser's performance. Not everyone gets triggered when maybe they see themselves in a film.

"Is the movie good or not is all that matters."

Well, you'll be unsurprised to hear that Rife's review is pretty damning.

Writing for Polygon, she said: "In The Whale, Aronofsky posits his sadism as an intellectual experiment, challenging viewers to find the humanity buried under Charlie’s thick layers of fat.

"That’s not as benevolent of a premise as he seems to think it is. It proceeds from the assumption that a 600-pound man is inherently unlovable."

However, if you're a huge Fraser fan and you've not been dissuaded by the above warnings, it sounds like you won't be disappointed.

Rife wrote: "Brendan Frasier is very good, and most of the humanity/sensitivity/sympathy in the movie comes from his performance."

If you’ve been affected by any of the issues in this article and would like to speak with someone in confidence, call the BEAT Eating Disorders helpline on 0808 801 0677. Helplines are open 365 days a year from 9am–8pm during the week, and 4pm–8pm on weekends and bank holidays. Alternatively, you can try the one-to-one webchat

Featured Image Credit: A24 / Kristina Afanasyeva / Alamy Stock Photo

Topics: Film and TV