It’s movie time!
I actually came across this week’s movie selection by accident. It was originally supposed to serve as some background noise for me to fall asleep to. However, it turned into me not being able to even blink because I was afraid to miss something. It turned into a shouting match between me and my tv (me winning of course). It’s easy to say that I got no sleep last night.
This week’s awesome finding on Netflix is The Perfect Storm. This 2000 movie stars the talented Mark Wahlberg and the adored Geroge Clooney. I don’t think you could even go wrong with these two if you tried. The Perfect Storm tells the true story of a Gloucester, MA commercial vessel boat that got lost at sea during the Perfect Storm of 1991.
The movie begins with the crew’s commercial boat the Andrea Gail returning back to Gloucester after a long trip out to sea. Sadly, they return with a poor catch. This movie was extra special and fascinating to me because it takes place in my home state. It was also funny watching the cast of the movie try to replicate Boston accents. However, it didn’t hurt to see Wahlberg sporting a Boston Red Sox cap.
Desperate for more money, Captain Billy Tyne (Clooney) convinces the Andrea Gail crew to join him for one more late season fishing expedition. These fishing expeditions are more drastic than you may be picturing. They don’t consist of a beautiful day out at sea, a trip that lasts no more than a few hours. These men go out into the dangerous waters for weeks a time, leaving behind all loved ones hoping and praying that their boyfriends, fathers, and sons make it back to them alive. As you watch this film, you have to remind yourself that this is all based off of true events. Real men risked their lives to make a living for themselves and their families.
The beginning of the crew’s expedition proves to be highly unsuccessful. The crew all begins to doubt their captain and begin to believe that this trip was a major mistake.Tyne is the most desperate to make something out of this trip and to come back successful. He plans to take trip outside of their usual route, something that raised a lot of controversy amongst the men. But, they take their chances anyway. When they reach the Flemish Cap, they finally find some luck. They catch more fish than ever before and finally believe that this trip was worth saying goodbye to loved ones for who knows how long. We see Wahlberg and the rest of crew cheering as they pull fish by fish up onto their boat. But, we all know as devoted movie watchers that things don’t stay good for too long. I mean, the movie isn’t even half over yet!
The first issue they face is the breaking of their ice machine. They need their ice machine to keep the abundance of fish they caught fresh. If they don’t head back to the port now all of their hard work would go to waste. You can only imagine the crews excitement at the news of being able to go home. As the crew starts for home, they get news that a huge storm is building right in their path. So, they are faced with their biggest question : do we go right through it or wait it out? These men have wasted enough time away from their families that they decide to fight the storm and continue home.
This is where my yelling and anxiety started to take place. I wanted to see them reunited with their loved ones as soon as possible but that dark sky that they show did not look promising. Little to the crews knowledge, ahead lies two huge storms combining into one. This was something that no fisherman has ever seen before.
Tragedy prevails when the Andrea Gail loses her antenna, meaning she no longer has any contact with land. The crew is completely by themselves out there in those crazy waters. this forces a sister boat to call in a Mayday for the men.
A lost antenna may have been the least of the men’s problems. Throughout the movie, we see plenty of gruesome tragedies that take place on the boat. Countless times a crew member got thrown overboard by the intense wind power and splashing waves. We see the men jumping in after one another to save the lives of their fellow crew members. Also, Wahlberg’s character, Bobby, almost gets his leg bitten off by one of the mega fish that came aboard. In short, the men face total hell while trying to beat out the storm. What breaks my heart the most is when the film flashes to the family members in Gloucester. They all just sit around and stare at the television, listening to how the storm is worsening by the minute. The worst part is that because the Andrea Gail lost its antenna, there is no way to get in contact with the crew. The family is completely helpless and can only hope for the best. Once again, these were real people who had no idea if their loved ones were alive or dead. It is honestly heart wrenching.
The movie also focuses on a three passenger boat that got caught up in the storm. However, unlike the Andrea Gail, this boat was able to reach out the Air National Guard and eventually get rescued. But, their rescue wasn’t easy and joyous. The three passengers were already thrown into the rapid waves when they Air National Guard helicopter found them. Their original rescue plan was not able to work due to how dangerous and violent the waves were, so one of the men in the helicopter dove from his plane into the water to save the three passengers. This part really stuck with me. The way the man did not even hesitate to jump in the water to save others was unbelievable. Yes, I understand that this is basically his job but the conditions of the weather were so extreme that it was even unsafe for him to be in those waters. At this point, I am really yelling at the tv. I’m yelling at the National Guard worker to save those poor people and to save himself.
You would not want to watch a movie with me.
When they finally rescue the three passengers, the Air National Guard receives the Mayday alert for the Andrea Gail. Once again, without hesitation, the helicopter fights through brutal winds to find Clooney and his men. The movie flashes back to the Andrea Gail and they are surely holding on for dear life. With several broken windows on board, the boat is constantly being rushed by water. The crew may have well been thrown overboard. Realizing that there is no way that they can fight this storm anymore, the crew makes a decision to turn the boat around and wait out the storm. Turning the boat around sounds like the ideal plan, right? Well, that is what I thought too. But, the movie shows how extremely difficult and dangerous to do such a turn around in this weather. However, they had no better option.
On their way to rescue the men of Andrea Gail, the Air National Guard are running out of fuel very fast. When they fail to perform a midair refueling with a fellow plane, they crew realizes they have no better shot at survival than jumping into the water. I couldn’t imagine making this type of decision. Their situation was so horrible that their best option was to jump into the storm. It blows my mind and kills me to know that real life people had to make this life changing decision.
We see the men of the helicopter fighting their way through the massive waves. They eventually get rescued by a passing by Coast Guard ship, however, losing one man along the way.
The Andrea Gail is about to perform the greatest turn-around that they have ever performed. They successfully turn their ship around and hope is restored in them all. They even see sunshine for the first time in days. We hear Walhberg say to Clooney that they may actually make it out of this thing alive. Once again, the good only lasts for a few seconds. After that quick glimpse of light, the crew is met with their biggest wave yet.Billy tells Bobby (Wahlberg) to apply full power to ride over the wave; it seems that they may make it over, but the wave starts to break and the boat overturns.
Though I would love to spoil the final minutes for you, I certainly cannot. The ending of this movie is the biggest part and you just have to watch it for yourself. The suspense in this movie is overwhelming. I promise you that you too will be yelling at your television. You want these men to live but they are hit with every possible obstacle and difficulty. Anything bad that could happen happened. You know how I love my rom-com’s but this has to be one of the greatest movies that I have seen. And once again, you need to keep in mind that is was based on actual events.
If you’re in the mood for a good cry, I advise you to turn on The Perfect Storm right now. If you admire bravery, this is the movie for you. If you like movies, this is the movie for you!!! It is truly a must watch guys (I know I say this about every movie but it is true!). I hope you guys get as involved in it as I did and I hope you don’t cry as hard as I did.
Until next time!