Adapting Melville – especially ‘Moby Dick’ – for the screen has always been particularly problematic, given the writer’s rich and strange use of metaphor. Ramos’ canny response to the problem is, basically, not to bother; instead of trying to film the novel as such, he proposes a backstory for the driven whaler, as related in a series of clearly defined chapters by a handful of people who knew him, starting with his dad and ending with Starbuck. A rewarding attempt to cast fresh light on one of literature’s greatest leviathans, it’s playful yet provocative , and acknowledges the impossibility of the task it’s taken on; equally wisely, in a superb casting coup. it envisages the boy Ahab turning into Denis Lavant.
Cast and crew