‘Hitchcock’ Brings ‘Psycho’ Back
December 6, 2012
“Hitchcock” is about one of the most famous directors, Alfred Hitchcock, and the drama that engulfed the making of “Psycho,” perhaps his best-known film.
Many critics complain that “Hitchcock” is not entirely historically accurate, it is a fiction movie, and should be seen as just that.
The movie is based on Stephen Rebello’s non-fiction book, “Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of ‘Psycho’(1960). ” The original movie is a suspense/horror film, directed by Hitchcock and based on Robert Bloch’s book.
While “Hitchcock” is centered on the difficulties involved in the making of the iconic film, it also sheds light on the relationship between Hitchcock, played by Academy Award-winner Anthony Hopkins (“Silence of the Lambs” 1991) and his wife, Alma Reville, played by Helen Mirren, also an Oscar winner (“The Queen” 2006), and how his borderline obsession with his leading ladies endangered that relationship.
The film includes few scenes from “Psycho,” but the infamous shower scene is featured. The film focuses more on what happened behind the scenes and in Hitchcock’s life at the time of filming, rather than the film itself.
“Hitchcock” is director Sasha Gervasi’s narrative debut and on top of that pressure, was the pressure of directing a movie about one of the greatest directors of all time. However, what some may see as a mistake, his embellishment of many details creates an exciting movie.
The theme is that behind every great man there is a great woman. Mirren plays that great woman as Reville and characterizes her as a strong woman who played a significant part in Hitchcock’s life and works.
Mirren delivers yet again, as audiences connect with Reville and understand what she is feeling. The film may be criticized for its embellishments, but the acting is nothing to sneeze at.
Through the magic of a fat suit and prosthetics, Hopkins is transformed into someone resembling Hitchcock without being a carbon copy of the original. Hopkins sounds like Hitchcock, almost perfects his distinctive walk and is an effective Hitchcock, if the film is viewed as fiction.
“Hitchcock” portrays the legendary director as a bit of a psycho himself. Throughout the movie, Hitchcock has hallucinations of Ed Gein, (Michael Wincott, “What Just Happened” 2008), the serial killer who inspired “Psycho,” and the character Norman Bates.
James D’Arcy (“Cloud Atlas” 2012) plays an excellent Anthony Perkins (who played Norman Bates in “Psycho”) and has an uncanny resemblance to Bates.
“Hitchcock” also features the type of relationship Hitchcock had with Janet Leigh, played by Scarlett Johansson (“The Avengers” 2012), and Vera Miles, played by Jessica Biel (“Total Recall” 2012), the two leading actresses in “Psycho.”
Hitchcock seems to lose it as his lack of attention toward Reville and obsession with his leading ladies drives Reville into the willing arms of Whitfield Cook, played by Danny Huston (“Stolen” 2012). Although this may not have happened in real life, it makes for good movie drama.
Hitchcock is then left to beg for Reville’s help to make a then- failing “Psycho” successful. Although Paramount only allowed “Psycho” to be released in select theaters, because of its shocking storyline, it was a huge success, thanks to Reville’s assistance, and is considered one of the greatest movies of all time.
Though “Hitchcock” may not be as successful or iconic as “Psycho,” it is definitely one to watch if not for the story, then for the excellent acting.
“Hitchcock” is like “Psycho,” as it is playing in only select theaters. It runs for 98 minutes and is rated PG-13 for some violent images, sexual content and thematic material.