Having never actually seen the great man from behind the camera, I will just have to go with some guess work. Anthony Hopkins was strictly average and at times the make up didn't quite please me. Having never been an ardent fan of the renowned masterpiece 'Psycho', making of it felt a bit engaging initially. Even more so, I quite enjoyed the shower scene here more than the original itself with Scarlett Johansson making a strong appeal for a scream movie (not that she wants to). The babbles between Mr. & Mrs. Hitchcock was tiresome after a point.
Hitchcock (Anthony Hopkins) has just filmed and released 'North by North West' thus re-establishing him as the master of the genre. When the whole world is watching what Hitchcock would do next, he announces a horror movie about a perversive murderous psychopath and when a young woman crosses his path. Against everybody's vociferous repulsion including his wife Alma (Helen Mirren) initially and no studio backing, the stubborn director makes a movie that the world reels in terror becoming one of his biggest accomplishments.
Hopkins gets it right to an extent as the repulsive, authoritative and tyrannic man. However as the moments pass with obvious emotional sequences go untapped, it more becomes a '60s tabloid feature. Helen Mirren gets a lot of unnecessary screentime and ends up deviating from any other interesting elements that the writers could have bundled. The sound mixing was good in parts and some supporting performances especially Johansson's was particularly good. It feels disappointingly long even with its short runtime and a little undercooked at times. Having never been a fan of Hitchcock's renowned handling of climax, this one came as a surprise to be so flat and to be honest disrespectful of the man.
Not particularly a solid tribute but sure brings some interesting moments
It starts off as a movie with a disaster waiting to happen just as advertised showing off happy moments, family bonds and future expectations just enough to ensure when the disaster hits, it hits hard. It did hit hard. If you forgive the occasional pacing issues and consistent coincidences (being a true story it is nothing short of miraculous), the actors will leave you with a feeling of unease with their brilliant natural and touching performances. The tsunami scene was quick, short, devastating and mostly well executed. Naomi Watts deserves a special applause along with the kid who played Lucas.
Maria (Naomi Watts) and Henry (Ewan McGregor) are moderately happy couple who comes down to Thailand for a vacation with their 3 sons Lucas, Thomas and Simon. Just when the holiday mood kicks in the disaster strikes without a warning. With utmost perseverance and love for life Maria and Lucas endure themselves to safety badly beaten, scarred but not broken. On the other side, Henry is in search of his family. How their unbroken spirit and persistence help them to find each other constitutes the rest of the story.
The scene where Maria is stuck in a frenetic underwater current makes you look away but could have been done a lot better. It was also difficult to watch with my ardent fear of water. If not for a true story credit, the near misses and the way the family finally reunite looks a bit undercooked. Naomi Watts shoulders the first half of the movie but Tom Holland (Lucas) steals the show for a short while by portraying a kind, confident yet vulnerable character. Runtime could be edited by a good 20 minutes and the melodrama and over emphasis of the power of human spirit (though apt in this instance) was a bit too much. Background score does not leave a mark and nor does the Thai locals performance.
Touching and powerful occasionally but a little flat overall.
Disturbing character portrayed in a drawing performance as a stubborn alcoholic immersed in false pride and ego was so absorbing, involving, connecting and could not take my eye off for a second in what I thought was a too lengthy movie when I saw the runtime. Denzel Washington gives the best performance of whatever I have seen of him and carries the entire movie on his broad shoulders. The special effects in the initial flight crash is on par but not to the extent of the hype surrounding it. The supporting cast deliver apt performances to keep the quality of the movie consistent throughout.
For long I have been a sucker for Zemeckis sensibilities as a director. Having watched most of his movies, Zemeckis was involved in a wide array of genres be it science fiction, fantasy, children, drama, horror, thriller etc., some more successful than others, none showed his lack of ability (maybe horror to an extent).
Captain Whip Whitaker (Denzel Washington) is an experienced airline pilot and an alcoholic. On a stormy day, he comes to duty high on alcohol and cocaine but skillfully guides the plane through turbulence. A little later the flight encounters a mechanical malfunction and goes for a nose dive. With an instinctive mind, he inverts the flight to control the decent and miraculously crash lands it in a field. What could have been a total disaster with more than 100 passengers on board is averted and leads to only 6 causalities. Then the investigation starts.
Denzel Washington was so natural as the stubborn drunk who is always difficult to deal with. His mumbles when drunk were nothing short of legendary. So are the scenes when he tries to meet his family, initial scenes at the hospital etc. Kelly Reilly was excellent in 'Eden Lake' and she is nothing short here too. She has a unique voice diction and I love it. John Goodman is quirky and lightens some intense moments while Bruce Greenwood and Don Cheadle give apt performances.
During the initial part of the movie, there is a little sequence in the hospital between Washington, Reilly and another cancer patient. That was the instant I got drawn in until which it was mostly the terrific flight crash sequence. The movie tend to go spiritual at times but only lingers as long as you can stand it. With only Washington's difficult character to focus on, the screenplay does a tremendous job in holding the viewer's attention when the protagonist stumbles from one depressing scenario to another. The epiphany and the climax is a tad predictable and could have done well without. No faults to find in editing and background score is apt and elevates in some scenes. It is not everyones cup of tea but once you sink in with some patience, I don't see anyone regretting it.
Denzel Washington show in a compelling character study with Zemeckis sensibilities.