The Mercy Reviewed By Wal Reid

The Premise
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 Review
Colin Firth’s The Mercy succeeds where no other biopic has been before.  That is, as well as being an extraordinary tale of one man’s achievement, and his emotional investment in his journey, it also manages to portray an interesting storyline into a decent watch on the big screen.

Directed by The Theory Of Everything’s James Marsh and written by Scott Z. Burns, the little known story is based on the true account of the disastrous attempt by amateur sailor Donald Crowhurst to complete the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race in 1968 and his subsequent attempts to cover up his failure – it’s quite the fascinating read actually.

The film keeps a hearty pace throughout, never deviating far enough to lose the viewers’ attention, while solid performances by Hollywood stalwarts, Colin Firth (Paddington) and Rachel Weiss (The Constant Gardener) as husband and wife, test their relationship in trying conditions as they successfully navigate the film to its designated end point.

The Mercy is an engaging watch that will please most fans of good solid English dramas, Firth is stoic as Crowhurst and does a superb job of getting into the psyche of the family man who at the cost of leaving his family behind, wanted to sail around the world and collect the prize money to aid his flagging business.  Weiss is equally convincing in her role as the faithful but emotionally tortured wife, I actually prefer her in period films, she has that timeless look suits her in this film.

There is a great support cast and the characters pop in this realistic portrayal, you could sense the human emotion with a lot of unforeseen bumps along the way, while the unpredictable storyline has you wondering until the end if he’s going to make it.

The Verdict
The film says a lot about the bravery that one person can have, and with that in mind I would suggest you check out this wee bolter of a film that with its mysterious story, looks like making waves in the movie world. 

The Trailer

The Info
Releases: 8th March 2018
Rating: M – Contains offensive language
Duration: 102 minutes 
Genre:  Drama
Starring: Rachel Weisz, Colin Firth, David Thewlis
Director: James Marsh (The Theory of Everything)

The Extras
At age 55, Colin Firth is 20 years older than Donald Crowhurst was when he set off on the Golden Globe race.

The mayor played in the film was in fact the son of the actual mayor when crowhurst set sail. In fact the son has even been mayor of Teignmouth twice since his father. He is the 3rd generation of Bladons to serve as mayor to the town.

Kate Winslet was first cast as Crowhurst's wife, before dropping out and being replaced by Rachel Weisz.

During the filming, Colin Firth was hospitalised with a hip dislocation.

The movie includes two oscar winners: Rachel Weisz and Colin Firth.

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.