“You may call me Hitch. Hold the Cock.”
Biopics like Hitchcock rely heavily on the obvious, the portrayal of the titular character whose story we are getting a taste of and how believable they are when thought of next to the real thing and in this respect Anthony Hopkins is solid but a few months ago I saw a television movie called The Girl where Toby Jones took on the role and for some reason (although its a very, very different take that takes Hitchcock into a very sinister place) was a more entertaining portrayal. Although it has to be said Hopkins’ Hitch does supply laughs a many in this very sharp witted biopic telling the story of Hitchcock’s masterpiece Psycho.
It’s not the most in-depth story you’re ever going to get in terms of biopics and focusses more on a very short space of time in Hitch’s life and more on that of the creation and struggles of Psycho and how it rose to success. Nonetheless it is full of great British humour and witty one-liners that Hitchcock-savvy audience members will love and appreciate.
Hitchcock is as much about Helen Mirren’s take on Alma Reville as it is on Alfred Hitchcock and her struggle having to live with his ego as well as his diet, drinking habits and pervyness towards his blonde female leads. Some parts of this narrative do correspond with The Girl however it is much more turned down and we are allowed to celebrate the man himself rather than ending up feeling repulsed and turned off by him. The scene in which we see Hitch take the famous Psycho shower scene into his own hands was a break in the character and gave him a different edge to what we see at the start.
Apart from this very little development on the character is made and he is very much the same throughout, he almost knows throughout that Psycho will be a success despite everything seeming to go against him, just for dramatical reasons I think this could have been improved, but then I suppose everyone already knows it is a success so there would never be a surprise but I’d have liked some sort of flutter in the stomach as to what would happen. As well as this I didn’t really learn anything new about Hitch I hadn’t previously known… I like to learn something from these films and it’s something Ali, Walk the Line and Chaplin do all so well.
Overall the film is nothing special and ends up feeling pretty run-of-the-mill even though it feels like it runs quickly it is reliant more on the Alma storyline rather than Hitch himself, true the story did need a different dimension, but whether this was the right route to take, I’m not convinced. Worth a watch for the wit in the script but apart from that it really is nothing special and you will leave feeling no attachment to any of the characters. Scarlett Johansson is a good lookalike for Janet Leigh.