Herman Melville visits old Thomas Nickerson about the whaling ship Essex. The man refuses to speak but his wife insists otherwise so he starts. Owen Chase convinces his wife all will be better as he gets his captaincy. But the executives have him as first mate instead on his next whaling journey aboard the Essex, accommodating young Captain George Pollard. After they set out Owen shows he’s the de facto captain with his skills and initiative. One day the captain orders the crew to head into a squall despite Owen’s warning. As the ship gets damaged the captain orders to turn around, but the waves wreak havoc to the ship. This starts open animosity between George and Owen, but they hold it for the whale oil they’re after.
They capture a whale, having young Nickerson slip inside the head to scoop leftover oil. But no whale for them on the next months. After sailing far they meet a Spanish captain informing them a large whale pack’s location, there’s also a ‘demon’ whale. Both George and Owen agree to chase the pack. They reach the place and soon finds the ‘demon’, a 30-foot long white whale. It easily damages the Essex’ hull, forcing the crew to abandon her. They rig makeshift boats with the sails and ration the limited provisions. The crew face friction among them. After some days adrift, Owen spots the demon whale following them. The second mate Matthew Joy gets injured in a storm. Again Owen spots the demon whale; this time it attacks the boats, killing some men. They get washed ashore to an island. But after some time Owen proposes to leave since no boats will come.
They go, leaving the injured Matthew and three others. Some more days adrift, one of the men dies. As rations scarce over, Owen proposes they eat the remains to survive, and so they do. The men in George’s boat even draw straws to determine who should sacrifice himself to be the next meal. And again they spot the ‘demon’. The crew cooperate and Owen gains a killing shot position. But he and the whale exchange stares, cancelling Owen’s throw. They eventually get rescued. Arriving back in Nantucket, Owen and George are intimidated by the executives, forcing them to lie in the upcoming inquiry. But Owen refuses. George eventually tells the truth in the inquiry, and Owen moves from Nantucket.
Chris Hemsworth in the Heart of the Sea is now in theaters
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