The 2019 Canadian film, Harpoon, tells the friends of three friends and a boat.
The three friends are Jonah (Munro Chambers), Richard (Christopher Gray), and Sacha (Emily Tyra). Jonah is a perhaps overly sensitive young man who is struggling to come to terms with not only the death of his parents but also the mountain of debt that they left for him. Richard is wealthy, has an anger problem, and it is suggested that his father might have murdered at least one person. Sacha is a nurse who is going out with Richard. Richard claims to love Sacha but that still doesn’t stop him from cheating on her. Jonah is obviously in love with Sacha but, just as obviously, he would never betray his best friend …. or would he?
The boat is a yacht known as the Naughty Bouy. It’s a really nice yacht. Richard owns it, though he doesn’t appear to be much of a sailor. The film’s rather sardonic narrator (voice of Brett Gelman) lists a number of superstitious beliefs that Richard, Jonah, and Sacha overlooked when they boarded the yacht for the day.
Here’s just a few of them:
- It’s never safe to have someone named Jonah on a boat.
- It’s not safe to take your first step onto a boat with your left foot.
- Apparently, it’s bad luck to have a redhead (like Sacha and, for that matter, me) on a boat.
- Never kill a sea gull. “That’s a big one,” the narrator tells us, right after Jonah and Richard kill a sea gull.
Now, I really can’t go into too many specifics about what happens on the boat without spoiling the film. And this is a film that you really should watch without any knowledge of what’s about to happen. However, I will say that the friends eventually end up stranded out in the middle of the ocean. Some of it’s because of bad luck. Some of it’s because the friends all seem to secretly hate each other. Two of them may have teamed up to try to kill the other one …. or maybe someone’s just being paranoid. One of the friends ends up with hole in their hand, courtesy of a spear gun. The important thing is that they eventually find themselves trapped out in the middle of the ocean, forced to depend on one another even while possibly thinking about killing each other. Secrets and lies are revealed and hard decision are made. It would all be really dark, if not for the sardonic commentary of the narrator, who not only tells us who these three are but who also keeps informed as to what they’re doing wrong.
It’s a good movie, one that immediately captured my attention and kept me guessing as to what was going to happen. If I’ve been vague about the film’s plot, it’s because this film earned the right to not be spoiled. It’s an occasionally grisly thriller with a wonderfully dark sense of humor. The three actors all did a wonderful job bringing their three less-than-lucky characters to life. Fans of Degrassi will especially be interested to see Munro Chambers, giving an excellent performance as a character who might initially remind them of Eli Goldsworthy but who eventually turns to be someone else altogether.
Harpoon really surprised me. Keep an eye out for it and, for the love of God, don’t kill any seagulls.