Like me, you may have forgotten just how good an actor Colin Firth actually is. Believe it or not, there is so much behind the man than his famous role as Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice. Firth is in fact a phenomenal actor who is able to take on the role of the main protagonist Donald Crowhurst and gives him more of an edge. If I be completely honest, Firth may have been the wrong casting for such a role as the real Crowhurst looked physically weaker in comparison comes across as much more vulnerable. However, you can’t help but hope that Firth’s depiction of this troubled and tragic figure can some how turn around the tragic ending.

The Mercy is another depiction of the true life tragic tale of Donald Crowhurst, a failing business man and amateur yachtsman who in 1969 convinced himself and the residents of his small town of Teignmouth in Devon that he would be able to successfully undertake  a single-handed, round the world yacht race and win Sunday Times Golden Globe Race. The race offered a considerable cash prize that would have undoubtedly saved his failing business.

Instead, Firth depicts a man who is crippled by exceeding temptations and can’t bare to let down those around him. So much so that he set sail on a boat that was not proven to be able to complete such a voyage, put his entire livelihood on the line and evidently led to his own mental deterioration and eventual suicide.

He was unable to return home to admit defeat as he had put his entire life on the line. So instead he set about making up false log book entries as to how far he had travelled and lied throughout his time at sea.

It was sad to watch his demise. There was something in me that wanted him; the underdog to succeed. However, in the end, Crowhurst chose to walk away from his life forever rather than coming home to the shame of destroying not only his life, but that of his family.

Rachel Weisz played his wife Claire who was a dedicated and loving wife to Donald. She believed in him and stood by his decision even though she recognised he was not ready.

For me, The Mercy held back and didn’t really show Donald’s journey, particularly his apparent mental deterioration. Instead, it focused more on painting a figure who was a dedicated family man who would do anything to support his family.

I couldn’t help but feel sorry for Crowhurst and Colin Firth’s depiction of him was the main factor behind this. His ambition was unrealistic and fantasy at best, but all the while you wanted him to win, to shatter the expectation and come out on top. However, The Mercy only highlighted what can happen to an individual who has impossible odds stacked against him.

Instead of going into the record books for becoming the fastest man to travel around the world, Crowhurst went into the history books as being a fraud and a fantasist and something about that left quite a bitter after taste in my mouth.

The Mercy is a fine film and although it is a story that has been retold over and over I feel Firth’s portrayal of Crowhurst is one that is definitely worth watching. Both Weisz and Firth put on a stellar performance and show real chemistry throughout. A strong and captivating film with a deep message and one that you need to watch.

I give The Mercy 3 1/5 out of 5.


Special thanks to #LaunchingFilms for inviting me to review the film. It is available to watch nationwide.



W | By Sasha Shantel                                              Via #MovieMatters

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