Sunday, 3 February 2013

Hitchcock Review

Inviting comparisons to Psycho is never going to help a movie. Making a movie about one of the greatest film directors in history is not going to guarantee you a great movie either. With Hitchcock, director Sacha Gervasi is aiming high but also cruising for a bruising. Despite stars Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren and an almost never sweeter Scarlett Johannson, Hitchcock is overall not as suspenseful as a film about the master of suspense should be.

While Hopkins does a pretty good Hitchcock, it is far from one his best performances. Mirren fares better with her loving and loyal wife Alma being the revelation of the story, both in performance and narrative positioning. Hitchcock is the story of how Psycho got made. Taking us from the success of North By Northwest to the premiere of Psycho and detailing both the personal and professional problems Hitchcock faced in getting the film made.

It has some wonderfully weird additions. Ed Gein (the inspiration for Psycho) repeatedly showing up to toy with Hitchcock is effective at the start but eventually fails to maintain interest. However it does make me wonder what Gervasi could do with a horror film as the production design of the scenes featuring Gein are great. Hitchcock talks to us in the audience at a couple of moments as he did in his trailers occasionally adding an amusing touch.

However, the best and most obviously unfortunate scenes on the film are the recreations of the Psycho set and watching Hitchcock at work. While these scenes are brilliant to watch and any film fan will find the the recreation of the production of the classic film Psycho as enthralling as watching Melies creating Voyage to the Moon in the recent Hugo, they also mean that the only way that Hitchcock could end satisfyingly is by being a double bill with Psycho itself.

The end of the film just can't compare to being able to sit and watch the fruit of Hitchcock's labour. If the film just ended with us being able to watch Psycho all the way through from start to finish, it would have made Hitchcock an infinitely better movie. As it is, Hitchcock will interest fans of the master but I'm not sure many others will be lured.

Hitchcock is out February 8th 2013 in UK cinemas.Watch the trailer below: