Hitchcock, the film in which some of my friends get muddle up with Will Smith’s Hancock, is a bio-pic about Alfred Hitchcock’s gamble, with both his reputation and his money, as he makes the pulp-horror masterpiece ‘Psycho’. Being a bit of a ‘Psycho’ geek, I was heavily anticipating this film, despite reading and hearing mixed reviews. A film about a film- what isn’t there to love?
Anthony Hopkins slipped into the fat suit and character as he recreated the master of film, Alfred Hitchcock. His rendition was pleasing, believable and fairly accurate, and he seemed to make do with what was quite a lousy script. Although showing accurate research and understanding, the film did not show an unusual nor original insight into Alfred Hitchcock which can be found in ‘The Girl’ or ‘Hitchcock Blonde’.
Ironically, the film lacked suspense, and switches between Hitchcock’s mental images/fantasies and ‘real life’, it lacked character and were both improbable and implausible. If you are a Hitchcock fan and are expecting an insightful bio-pic of both the man and ‘Psycho’ this may not be the film for you, being a glorified love story between Hitchcock and his wife Alma Reville. There was also a slight over-use of close ups, giving it a TV-drama feel to it, rather than a anticipated motion picture. Tension was missing, and I did not find myself on the edge of my seat like I had hoped, instead being slumped back twiddling my thumbs.
However, delicious performances from Anthony Hopkins and Helen Mirren as Alma and Hitch were shown. Anthony Hopkins as an actor was believable it was a real shame about the lousy camera-work and the unsatisfying script, then they could have easily soared. Hopkins was dry-humored and witty; being sleazy when needed and convincingly wrathful on cue. A common motif was found where you would find Hopkins swivel in the fat suit to create the side-ways shadow that is so commonly associated with Hitchcock. Helen Mirren was strong and sophisticated and portrayed the fragility of Alma in a completely unusual way. The film did show the importance of women in their Husband’s careers, and highlights the lack of credit a women was given for the amount of intelligent input she had in her husband’s career.
Another quirky feature of this movie was the beginning, in which you saw a murder occur, and as the camera panned, Hitchcock (Hopkins) was standing with a cup of tea and saucer, narrating the situation. This part of the film was incredibly unusual and a nice touch, making me smile and captivating me from the first 5 minutes.
The rest of the supporting actors and actresses were OK. They were definitely supporting, without being given a scene to really show off their acting skills. The score was tense and memorable, creating most of the emotions that were outcomes of the film.
Overall, It was a fairly light film, not providing an insight to Hitchcock or how he made his films. It was also fairly disappointing that the making of the iconic ‘shower scene’ was cut to a small amount of time. Hitchcock entertained me and amused me; although leaving me fairly unsatisfied with the limited knowledge about the man behind the films that I gained. Director Sacha Gervasi is one to look out for, although I am hoping his fame will be more TV based. I am not sure he was the right choice, with him having only directed one film (about a Canadian heavy metal band).
Not a strong recommendation for Hitchcock fans, but for light cinema viewing, it is suitable.