By Jair Fuentes
In “Hitchcock,” director Sacha Gervasi explores the relationship of Alfred Hitchcock and wife, Alma while providing insight into the struggles faced during the making of the classic horror film, “Psycho.”
After having decades worth of success under his belt, Hitchcock, played by Anthony Hopkins, had one of his biggest hits in 1959 with “North by Northwest.” The film kicks off at the premiere of that film, where the turnout was immense.
While many felt he should retire, the famed director craved something different. Through his search, he comes along a novel entitled, “Psycho.” Eager to turn this novel into his next motion picture, he faces doubt from colleagues and rejection from studio heads.
By his side his wife, Alma, played by Helen Mirren, also has doubts, but she keeps her cool and tries to deal with the situation the best she can. They endure having to finance the film themselves, putting their home at risk, all while dealing with their rocky marriage and personal issues.
In this film, the director explores different aspects of whom Alfred Hitchcock really was. From his excessive overeating to his obsessive fascination with his leading ladies, the audience gets to see those details of Hitchcock behind the scenes.
The Pandemonium “Psycho” created all over country, is depicted well. From the unique advertising campaigns to the crowd reactions, audiences immerse into that time period where a simple film could captivate.
The acting in this film is incredible. Hopkins and Mirren shine in the lead roles. Their transformations, especially Hopkins, are impressive. From the mannerisms to the way he stands to the way he says the famous “Good evening” catchphrase, Hopkins captures some of Hitchcock’s signature characteristics.
Scarlett Johansson and Jessica Biel also do a fine job in their small, yet important roles as actresses Janet Leigh and Vera Miles. Others in the cast include James D’Arcy as Anthony Perkins, Toni Collette, who plays Hitchcock’s assistant and Richard Portnow as Barney Balaban, president of Paramount Pictures at the time.
The writing is excellent as well. Written by John J. McLaughlin, the dialogue between Hopkins and Mirren creates tense moments, especially in one crucial argument scene and in parts the writing is witty and smart.
The highlight of the film is definitely the cinematography. It looks amazing. The colors pop and everything looked exaggerated. It almost feels like a homage to films from that time period.
“Hitchcock” is a great representation of what went on during the development of “Psycho.” To be clear, it is not an autobiography. It is more of a tribute to Alfred Hitchcock and to show audiences why he is dubbed “the master of suspense.”
“Hitchcock” is playing in select theaters and rated PG-13 for violent images, sexual content, and thematic material.