Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz star in a new dramatization of the Crowhurst tragedy familiar to many through the documentary Deep Water, through the book A Race Too Far, and through the 1970 first edition book (which years ago I plucked from my grandfather's study shelves), The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst. I've seen and read all these resources, and a lot more: I know quite a bit about Crowhurst and his times, at this point. I doubt many people know more about him: I have even contributed original research (from an Exeter library, now digitized by Wikipedia) to the late Rodney Hallworth's Wikipedia page. Rodney Hallworth, for those that don't know, was Crowhurst's publicist, and he features prominently in any documentary as well as in the new movie.
I believe on the evidence that in 1968, Donald Crowhurst was labouring under considerable financial pressures. Yet, according to Dave Calhoun of the TimeOut publication in London, Crowhurst embarked on the Golden Globe Race of that year in order to 'spice up his life'. Mystery 'still shrouds Crowhurst's story' -- I think it doesn't so much, actually, if you are willing to spend more than two minutes of lazy thinking on it -- and what's more, according to Calhoun, it's a story that is really about 'why a man would risk everything for an unattainable sense of personal satisfaction'. Give me a bloody break. If there is anything that motivates Crowhurst, it's the need to provide for his very young family of four children and a wife in broken, inflation-prone, not-very-affluent post-war Britain.
Where do they get these reviewers? What knowledge of the world do they have? Dare I ask how old they are? What sort of 'everything' does Dave Calhoun know about 'risking'? Callow youth, they spring eternal.
My own review of the new film will be posted in the Book & Film Review section, once it has come to America and I've had a chance to see for myself!