Follow Us:
Saturday, January 29, 2022

Hollywood Rewind | Free Willy: Of unlikely friendships and environment preservation

If you are craving for some good old 90s nostalgia peppered with tales of heartwarming and transformatory friendships, then Free Willy should be your pick of the weekend.

Written by Anvita Singh | New Delhi |
December 12, 2021 8:50:45 am
Free WillyFree Willy released in 1993. (Photo: Warner Bros)

“Don’t let that whale get away.” “Go, Willy, go.” These two sentences are probably the ones you thought you would never hear a character say out loud on screen. Well, at least the first one. But both these lines are uttered at different instances in the 1993 feature Free Willy, which was helmed ably by Simon Wincer. Wholesome to the boot, Free Willy, as the name suggests, is about freeing an elderly predator whale Willy from its captive status. And that task is led by a teenager called Jesse (a very convincing Jason James Richter). Now both Jesse and Willy are heroes of Free Willy. They take turns to share the spotlight, although if you are a softie like me when it comes to 90s family dramas, you will be thoroughly enraptured by Willy.

As the movie progresses, director Wincer and writers Keith A Walker and Corey Blechman take great care to establish a lasting and strong bond between our ‘two leads’. Jesse is an abandoned child who grew up in foster homes and is yet to find a true familial connection with someone. Meanwhile, Willy, against its own will (pun intended), has been estranged from its family. What we see next is these lost souls finding a family in each other. Yes, it is a bit soppy and extremely predictable, but it still makes for an endearing watch.

Richter, who portrayed Jesse, was a teenager when the movie came out, but the nuance and maturity he evokes through his acting is far beyond his age. Add to that, the lovely background score of Basil Konstantine and the pure nature of Robbie Greenberg’s cinematography, and you have yourself the recipe for the perfect heartwarming feature.

Hollywood Rewind: Carrie | Crash | Persepolis | The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants | Philadelphia | Mrs Doubtfire | Easy A | Romeo + Juliet | Coraline | Gone Girl | Starship Troopers | Bridget Jones’s Diary | Almost Famous | Inglourious Basterds | Beginners | Girl With a Pearl Earring | Juno | Nightcrawler | Little Miss Sunshine | Moana | The Sound of Music | Benny and Joon | Crimson Peak | The Holiday | My Blueberry Nights | The Help | Mission Impossible | Chef | Revolutionary Road | I’m Not There | Donnie Brasco | Sicario | Edge of Tomorrow | Spy Kids | 1998’s Godzilla | The Others | Phone Booth | Wild | Scream | The Godfather Part II | One Fine Day | True Romance | Little Women | Face-off | Pulp Fiction | Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon | The Age of Innocence | Mean Girls | Die HardNever Been Kissed | Citizen Kane | Kill Bill Volume I | Terminator 2 Judgment Day | Titanic | Heat | Home Alone | Jerry Maguire | Brief Encounter | The Truman Show | The Deer Hunter | The Shining | Clueless | Ferris Bueller’s Day Off | Blue Velvet | Taxi Driver | The Lord of the Rings I | Zero Dark Thirty | The Godfather | Say Anything | Warm Bodies | Bright Star | Malcolm X | Stardust | Red Eye | Notting Hill | FargoThe Virgin Suicides | The Breakfast Club | Enchanted | Walk the Line | Blood Diamond | Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban | Mortal Kombat | Bridges of Madison County | Edward Scissorhands | Breakfast at Tiffany’s | She’s Gotta Have It | Ever After | The Devil Wears Prada | The Matrix | Creed | Mulan | Ratatouille | Shutter Island | Her | Dead Poets Society | Sleepless in Seattle | Waitress | Pride and Prejudice | The Dark Knight | Before Sunset | School of Rock | About a Boy | A Few Good Men | 50/50 | Begin Again | Brooklyn | Drive | Chocolat | Batman Begins | 10 Things I Hate About You | The Departed | Freedom Writers | Pretty Woman | Dan in Real Life | Jurassic Park | TangledMeet Joe Black | Monster’s Ball | Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind | You’ve Got Mail | Half Nelson | Fight Club | Doubt | American Psycho | Julie and Julia | Forrest Gump | The Silence of the Lambs | Finding Neverland | Roman Holiday| American History X | Tropic Thunder | Before Sunrise | Scent of a Woman | Finding Forrester | Sixteen Candles

There is also some interesting asides in the movie about protecting our environment and wildlife. The enslavement of beauty for man’s greed is also a running theme throughout the film. Director Simon Wincer forces us to reevaluate our priorities and put friendship and preservation of life before everything else in the way only a 90s movie can.

You can watch Free Willy on YouTube.

📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines

For all the latest Entertainment News, download Indian Express App.

  • Newsguard
  • The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.
  • Newsguard