Starring George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, John Reilly, Diane Lane and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, "The Perfect Storm" captures the experience of men and women who face violent weather conditions as they bring rescue vessels and fishing boats out to sea. When three strong weather fronts collide, thereby creating a dangerous storm, a group of people on the fishing ship Andrea Gail struggle to stay afloat in the Atlantic Ocean. It revolves around true events and takes place on Halloween 1991.
Based on the best-selling novel by Sebastian Junger, the film outlines the financial pressures inherent in the swordfishing industry and provides a back story of the crew members and their families. It simultaneously captures the horrific conditions mounting against the fishermen and the tension building on shore as loved ones wait to hear news about the crew. A side story takes place involving a luxury sailboat that is in trouble.
Director Wolfgang Petersen crafted a movie more focused on plot development and action than creating complex or detailed characters. The film's main character is the storm, with people responding to it accordingly. While some characters undergo conflict, namely over jealousy about the wife of one crew member, it serves to heighten the tension and build suspense more than offering an in-depth character analysis.