When Writing ‘The Whale,’ Samuel D. Hunter Left No Room for Cynicism

Drama Desk Award-winning playwright turned Best Adapted Screenplay contender Samuel D. Hunter understands that certain folks may have reservations going to see his new autofictional film “ The Whale ,” in which Brendan Fraser plays a 600-pound recluse attempting to reconnect with his teenage daughter. Still, he hopes people realize it is more than just a morbid obesity . “I totally get it,” said the screenwriter to IndieWire during in West Hollywood the morning of the Governors Awards. “They probably go in thinking of that kind of singular, watered down one-sentence description and then hopefully they have, by the end, discovered that this is a story about a lot of different things, and the fact that the character is suffering from obesity is one thing among many. There's religious trauma, there's family drama, there's codependency, there's religion.” More from IndieWire Hunter posits that the A24 film not being about one singular subject matter will frustrate some viewers, but he has his own gripes about dramatic writing that goes down that road storywise. “I get frustrated with plays or films that seek to have a very clear thesis or clear moral center or clear statement,” he explained. “When I'm watching something, be it in the theater or on a screen, and 90 minutes in it kind of arrives, and ‘Here's what we're supposed to think, and here's what we're supposed to—' I just get a little frustrated because I feel like I see the author's hand.” Hunter added, […]

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