The incredible story of amateur sailor Donald Crowhurst and his solo attempt to circumnavigate the globe. The struggles he confronted on the journey while his family awaited his return is one of the most enduring mysteries of recent times.
The incredible story of Donald Crowhurst , an amateur sailor who competed in the 1968 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race in the hope of becoming the first person in history to single-handedly circumnavigate the globe without stopping. With an unfinished boat and his business and house on the line, Donald leaves his wife, Clare and their children behind, hesitantly embarking on an adventure on his boat the Teignmouth Electron. The story of Crowhurst's dangerous solo voyage and the struggles he confronted on the epic journey while his family awaited his return is one of the most enduring mysteries of recent times.Written by
One of two biopics about Donald Crowhurst slated for release in the UK only a few weeks apart. The other, the independently produced Crowhurst (2017), starring Justin Salinger as Donald Crowhurst, was finished earlier, but the distributor of The Mercy bought it and delayed its release until a month after that of this film. See more »
When the Teignmouth Electron is leaving harbour, the yachts in the background have a stern shape that's about 40 years too modern. See more »
With such an incredible story that is incredibly emotional and inspiring, a trailer that really grabbed the attention and made me really want to see it and a very good cast (Colin Firth, David Thewlis, Rachel Weisz), 'The Mercy' had a lot in its favour and a lot going for it. So the potential in it being a good film was enormous.
On the most part, 'The Mercy' is a good, very good even, film, its best elements brilliant. Mostly it does justice to this astonishing story if not quite fully and does a lot right. It does live up to its trailer and the cast are far from wasted. 'The Mercy' also is not quite perfect and could have been even better than it was. Nothing is done terribly, far from it, there are a few elements though that could have been done stronger.
Where 'The Mercy' most excels is the acting and emotional impact. It is a very moving film (there are scenes where a couple of tissues is in order) with a rootable protagonist, presented as compellingly real and not neatly black and white. There are gripping and tense scenes on the sea, it really is an emotional story with a soul, and its restraint rather than going into overblown mode was really appreciated. Found myself inspired by it too.
Colin Firth wrenches the gut and brings tears to the eye in a powerful performance. Rachel Weisz's role was a little underwritten, but she is charming and affecting with her most emotive dialogue ringing true. Also found David Thewlis brilliantly cast.
'The Mercy' is exquisitely filmed with the use of locations well done, the sea is like a character of its own, likewise with the boat. The music is haunting and understated and it's all slickly directed and thoughtfully scripted. The film doesn't feel dull generally with a fluidly and fast paced first act with particularly compelling storytelling.
However, 'The Mercy' is not without issues. Not everybody is going to take kindly to some of the speculation and not so sensitive assumptions, particularly in the latter stages. The final act is not as strong as the rest of film, it's emotionally captivating but not as tightly paced, as dimensional, as detailed and not all of it felt resolved.
Sometimes the non-on the sea scenes could have been more developed and Weisz's character is underwritten and not as well used as she could have been (as said Weisz's performance is great having said that).
Overall, good film and nearly great, with a few tweaks it would have been the latter. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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