Family dynamics are always an interesting and intricate topic for films, but it can also go hideously wrong if the dialogue or narrative is poorly developed. When making a film that is focused on relationships it is imperative to make those relationships dynamic and well developed, otherwise the film feels flimsy and paper thin. Whales is an example of how to do this perfectly.
The film doesn’t rely on anything other than it’s characters and story, yet the settings are beautiful and the sound/music is understated but beautifully placed to aid emotion and pace. The music is perfectly chosen yet doesn’t detect from the interactions between the characters and their conflict. The rough unstable setting of the coast and sea mirrors the instability and turbulence of the relationships between the three main characters.
The three main characters are dealing with grief whilst also trying to navigate a new dynamic now that the third person has arrived, causing the conflict and rift between them all. Each character deals with their own problems whilst also trying to find out where they sit within this new situation and this is done via excellent dialogue and stellar performances by the three actors.
The production value on the piece is outstanding and each and every scene is shot with aptitude and thought. The whole package comes together to create a piece of film that is intriguing and encompassing. Performances from actors that hold the audience and bring to the surface raw emotion and very real experiences that resonate with the audience.
Whales is a strong narrative driven character study that utilises strong characterisation and well developed plot to investigate relationship dynamics within a unique situation. It avoids all of the usual cliches and tropes to deliver a film that stays with the audience after the credits roll.