Hitchcock (2012)

Film : Hitchcock (2012)

Director : Sacha Gervasi

Produced by :   Ivan Reitman
                       Tom Pollock
                       Joe Medjuck
                       Alan Barnette
                       Tom Thayer

Screenplay : John J. McLaughlin

Based on : Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho
                 by Stephen Rebello

Starring :   Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Scarlett Johansson, Toni Collette, Danny Huston, Jessica Biel, James D'Arcy, Michael Wincott.

Music by : Danny Elfman

Cinematography : Jeff Cronenweth

Editing by : Pamela Martin

Is Sacha Gervasi's "Hitchcock" Hitchcock at all ? Based on the non-fiction book Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho by Stephen Rebello the story of 2012 American biographical comedy-drama film, Hitchcock, emphasises more on the relationship of Hitchcock with his wife Alma Reville during the filming of Psycho than on the making of Psycho and the film's production history.In 1959 after Hitchcock's film North by Northwest became a success he was being suggested by reporters and critics to retire.In order to prove his worth again he became engrossed with the idea of adapting the horror novel, Psycho, by Robert Bloch into a feature film.The novel is based on the crimes committed by serial killer Ed Gein. Hitchcock's wife, his agent Lew Wasserman, and Paramount chief Barney Balaban were all against this idea.The reasons behind this rejection were the brutal murder sequences and the fact that none of the leading characters of the story was innocent. Failing to persuade the Paramount studio heads the determined director mortgaged his house and financed the film personally using his Alfred Hitchcock Presents television crew to produce the film.

Hitchcock's obsession with murders and his penchant for his films' leading ladies disgust Alma who begins to collaborate on a screenplay with her friend Whitfield Cook.The moment the film's focus shifts to Alma's personal life the whole story is now viewed through her perspective.Hitchcock is distracted during the shooting of Psycho as he starts feeling suspicious that his wife was having an affair with Cook.His suspicions leave him stressed due to which he gets temporarily bedridden when the shooting of Psycho was already in progress.Alma who catches her friend Cook making love to a younger woman stops working on the screenplay with him.She learns about Hitchcock's suspicion and spits out the truth to him thereby ventilating her grievances.Hitchcock's cut of Psycho was not received well by studio executives.Finally Hitchcock and Alma's renewed collaboration to improve the film and the addition of Bernard Hermann's harsh strings score to the shower murder scene made the film a huge success.It is quite evident that this film justifies the saying "Behind every successful man there is a woman". However the film's title can mislead people into thinking that the film is about Hitchcock and his film making strategies.The character of Ed Gein who appears throughout the film seems to be the personification of Hitchcock's dark subconscious mind.Ed Gein reveals to Hitchcock how much time his wife had been spending with her friend Cook at the beach house by drawing his attention to the sand on his bathroom floor.This queer character of a serial killer signifies the troubled mind of the frustrated director.In one scene Hitchcock shouts at Leigh, "Even your boss, strait-laced, hatchet-faced Mr George Lowery, why even he can smell the rancid, pungent scent of sex all over you," he barks at her during one scene.".This shows Hitchcock had a dark side to hide.

Anthony Hopkins in facial prosthesis and fake belly might have been a Hitchcock look-alike but there was very little or no fun element in his portrayal of the master of suspenseThe dull expression in his eyes and the serious look on his face was so unlike Hitchcock. Helen Mirren played Alma Reville flawlessly.Scarlett Johanssen, though acted warm and witty, could not be called Janet Leigh from any angle. James D'Arcy,as Anthony Perkins,was deep into the mystery of his character.The make up of the individual characters was impressive.The direction could have been better. Infact it is better to say that Sacha Gervasi's Hitchcock is not cocky at all.This film captures the emotional bond between Hitchcock and his wife despite living in a sexless marriage.After watching this film one can easily come to a conclusion that age,fame, or even a sexless marriage are no obstacles to love.This appears to be the only advantage of watching Hitchcock.But it is disappointing that this lifeless film about the master of suspense is lacking in suspense and depth.