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When The Whales Came

Where to Watch When The Whales Came


When The Whales Came is a heartwarming film released in 1989 and directed by Clive Rees. Boasting a stellar cast that includes Paul Scofield, David Threlfall, and Helen Mirren, this movie is a potent blend of drama, history, and environmental consciousness that leaves a lasting impression on its audience.

Set on the picturesque Isles of Scilly, off the Cornish coast, the film takes place in 1914, on the eve of World War I, providing an engaging backdrop to an unforgettable story. The narrative primarily revolves around two central child characters, Daniel and Gracie, whose carefree world is filled with wild adventures, explorations, and a deep bond with nature.

Daniel and Gracie's peaceful life is enriched further by their friendship with an enigmatic old man known locally as the Birdman, deftly portrayed by Paul Scofield. Living like a hermit amidst derelict houses on one of the smaller, uninhabited islands, the Birdman is shrouded in mystery and tales of a cursed past, but he also harbors vast knowledge about the local wildlife, particularly the whales and birds.

David Threlfall turns in a powerful performance as the stern and work-obsessed father of Gracie, who embodies the local superstitions and apprehensions about the Birdman and his alleged curse. His unshakeable beliefs in these folk tales and rumors make him deeply suspicious of the Birdman and forbid his daughter from fraternizing with him.

Repudiating the ominous whispers about him, the Birdman extends his wisdom and affection to Daniel and Gracie, nurturing their love for nature and the marine life that surround them. The trio's bond deepens as the Birdman unravels tales of the majestic sea creatures that inhabit the surrounding waters of their island home, with a particular emphasis on whales.

Academy award-winning actress Helen Mirren plays a pivotal role as the compassionate and strong-willed mother of Gracie. Mirren's character acts as the voice of reason, bridging the gap between her husband's dogged superstitions his daughter’s adventurous curiosity. It's her character’s faith in the larger forces of nature and the innate goodness in people that often acts as a beacon of both hope and sense in the film.

An unexpected turn of events happens when a couple of rare and beautiful whales find their way into the heart of the island's tranquil bay. Regarding this as a special sign, the locals rally together, but not in a manner that one might expect, spurring the narrative into an abrupt confrontation of beliefs, values, and the often misunderstood relationship that man holds with nature.

When The Whales Came comes across as an insightful commentary on humanity's connection to the environment and the creatures that inhabit it. Themes of superstition, curses, and local folklore are deftly weaved into the narrative, which successfully sustains the viewer's intrigue and emotional engagement through to the very end.

The cinematography deserves special mention, depicting the beautiful landscape of the Isles of Scilly and the stunning wildlife with a level of detail that feels almost tangible. The direction remains steady throughout, keeping the plot focused yet nuanced and the character development consistent while allowing for necessary growth.

In conclusion, When The Whales Came is a rich and evocative movie set against the beautiful backdrop of the Isles of Scilly. It offers viewers a thoughtful look at the relationship between man and nature and the harm that can emanate from baseless superstitions. The stellar performances by the cast only add to its allure, drawing the audience into their lives and experiences and leaving a profound and enduring impact. This film is certainly a must-watch for those who appreciate a compelling narrative interwoven with historical nuances and environmental consciousness.

When The Whales Came is a Drama movie released in 1989. It has a runtime of 100. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 6.1..

How to Watch When The Whales Came

Where can I stream When The Whales Came movie online? When The Whales Came is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Amazon. Some platforms allow you to rent When The Whales Came for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

Clive Rees
Paul Scofield, David Threlfall, Helen Mirren, Helen Pearce
Also directed by Clive Rees
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