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In The Heart Of The Sea And The 5 Rules Of Whale Club

Whaling in the early 19th century wasn’t exactly an industry suited for the faint of heart or weak of stomach. In director Ron Howard’s In The Heart Of The Sea Chris Hemsworth and Cillian Murphy set sail in search of the riches that whale oil provides while risking the dangers that whale hunting entails. Ben Whishaw’s Herman Melville sits at home in front of a well-stoked fire, sips whiskey, and writes about it.

Howard’s 3D adventure, based on author Nathaniel Philbrick’s nonfiction work and inspired by Melville’s Moby-Dick, imagines the story about how the novel came to be. The movie features a fairly straightforward narrative about Melville’s visit to Thomas Nickerson, a survivor of the wreck of the whaleship Essex, to hear his version of what happened on the expedition. What follows is Nickerson’s account of death, whale-wrought destruction, and cannibalism—a story that horrifies him to such a degree that he’s never told it before, not even to his own wife. Also: a bunch of epic ship-smashing and lobtailing scenes that will have you cheering for the CG whales, the best part of In The Heart of The Sea.

So, want to be in Whale Club? Here are the rules:

1. Don’t ask too many questions. Maybe the First Mate is the landsmen son of a convict. Maybe the Second Mate is a recovering alcoholic. Maybe the Captain is only a Captain because of nepotism. Doesn’t matter. None of your business. Keep your mouth shut and your eyes on the horizon, watching for whales. Swab the deck while you’re at it.


2. If you’re going to hurl, hurl into the water. The ocean doesn’t care if it’s on the receiving end of your half-digested dinner. Throw up on the First Mate’s feet and you have a problem.


3. No whale flare until you bag a whale. In the whaling world, status is conveyed by the number of whale bone pins that decorate your grimy jacket (the laundry service on a whaling ship sucks). They don’t give you one when you sign up for an expedition—you’ve got to earn it, sometimes by climbing head first into a whale carcass.


4. No girls allowed. Duh. Unless you played Catelyn Stark on Game of Thrones, then you can have couple minutes of screen time.


5. And the most important rule of Whale Club is, of course, don’t talk about Whale Club. Especially the monster hundred-foot whale you and your buddies once saw while out at sea. No one would believe you anyway.


In The Heart of the Sea is in the heart of theatres now. Watch the trailer right below: