The incredible true story of Donald Crowhurst and his attempt to win a race to sail solo around the world without stopping, but as his boat is taking longer than expected he must leave before it is finished when his house and business become part of the deal.
When a film is based on a true story that obviously means you could find out everything about the real life event before you watch it, however it also means that you can go into the film not knowing anything. That was how I went in about this event which happened in 1968, I had no idea at all about any of it and that certainly made for a very interesting journey whilst watching this very engaging and emotional film.
Donald Crowhurst hadn’t really done a massive amount of sailing he was very much an amateur in the race but he was determined to go and do it. His wife Clare was pretty much hoping he would change his mind. She was not aware however that in order to get more money for the boat from Mr. Best that he had signed off the house and his business which he would lose if he did not finish. That was certainly a very tough part of the story to take as it felt as though in the end that was the only reason he went, fully knowing that the boat would not be able to handle it.
I liked the format the film took for having flashbacks as he was on the sea and the communication with the radio as well, it went in a different direction to other films we have seen with a man alone on a boat. In this one Donald never really felt fully alone, taking into consideration the different things he must have been going through over the months he was on the boat. It also got me thinking that I couldn’t think of a worse challenge than being on a boat in the sea all alone. The water has never really been my favourite place ever and I wouldn’t even fancy a cruise let alone a small sailing boat!
Anyway the story was not what I expected and because it has become a film I assumed that it would be all happy in the end, it had that edge to it as well when you were watching as well. Donald’s adventure was blown into something huge with his press agent Rodney Hallworth making it all seem a whole lot better than the reality. Then being picked up by the national news as well, which causes it to be blown to another level when Donald isn’t truthful about his journey.
I thought Colin Firth was outstanding in the leading role showing another side to his acting in the scenes when he was alone on screen. The downward spiral his character was sent on throughout the story was done in a very powerful way and that was certainly a plus to his acting ability. I am not the biggest fan of Rachel Weisz in all honesty but I thought she was impressive in this film as the wife attempting to support and understand her husbands quest to achieve this near impossible task. In the supporting roles David Thewlis was a standout as the press agent along with Ken Stott who was equalling as impressive. I felt young actor Finn Elliot was very good, even if I was trying to work out where I recognised him from (he’s young Prince Phillip in the Crown season 2) and I think he has a very bright future in acting.
An impressive film with very good acting with a rather hearbreaking and interesting story to tie it all neatly together. A strong British film which I found myself well and truly engrossed in from start to finish.