Summary: A psychiatrist searches the globe to find the secret of happiness.
Australian Cinema Release Date: 23rd October, 2014
Australian DVD Release Date: TBA
Country: UK, Canada, Germany, South Africa
Director: Peter Chelsom
Screenwriter: Maria von Heland, Peter Chelsom, Tinker Lindsay, Francois Lelord (novel)
Cast: Barry Atsma (Michael), Sebelethu Bonkolo (Baruti), Toni Collette (Agnes), Bernard Cuffling (Professor Niedorf), Jakob Davies (Young Hector), Veronica Ferres (Anjali), Bruce Fontaine (Malcolm), Chris Gauthier (Roger), S’Thandiwe Kgoroge (Marie Louise), Aiden Longworth (Jack), Hannah Longworth (Daisy), Tracey Ann Oberman (Pathetic Jane), Anthony Oseyemi (Marcel), Simon Pegg (Hector), Rosamund Pike (Clara), Christopher Plummer (Professor Coreman), Jean Reno (Diego Baresco), Stellan Skarsgard (Edward), Chad Willett (Alan), Ming Zhao (Ying Li)
Runtime: 119 mins
OUR HECTOR AND THE SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS REVIEWS & RATINGS:
Greg King: You can check out Greg’s Hector And The Search For Happiness review on www.filmreviews.net.au
Human betterment has been the in thing for a few years now so it’s not surprising that it has crept into cinema with films like Eat, Pray, Love and The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty. Now all the way from the United Kingdom comes Hector And The Search For Happiness with the unlikely pairing of Simon Pegg and Rosamund Pike.
Based on Fracois Lelord’s best-selling novel the film centres around Hector (Simon Pegg), a psychiatrist who suddenly realises that he is being no help to his patients as he is not happy himself, actually he doesn’t even know what the meaning of happiness really is.
In a bid to answer the big question he decides to temporally leave his near perfect girlfriend, Clara (Rosamund Pike), and embarks on a worldwide journey to try and find what other people believe is true happiness.
Now to the credit of the filmmakers here, namely director/screenwriter Peter Chelsom (who normally makes fluff like Serendipity and Hannah Montana: The Movie), Hector And The Search For Happiness is a film that has some surprising twists and turns. Chelsom could have just taken the easy way out and have chosen to make this a film in the vein of Eat, Pray, Love and had Hector just swanning around some of the world’s most beautiful locations but instead he has Hector suddenly thrown into a world of Asian prostitution with nasty pimps, brutal warlords, drug kingpins and African refugee camps. Certainly I never came into this film expecting that I would suddenly be confronted with scenes that would leave me wondering whether or not Hector would survive, but that is exactly what happens with the end product here.
In fact there are few movies in the past that have mixed comedy and drama together as well as Hector And The Search For Happiness does. For Hector to be one moment talking about Tintin (yes a well placed little in joke at Simon Pegg’s expense) and then the next be begging for his life in an African cell with a gun to his head is as far as extremes can go. Remarkably it also works well throughout the film even if some of the early laughs do feel a little forced.
The suspense even to seems to life more and more as the film goes on. Not only do we have scenes where Hector’s life is at risk but there is a steady stream of suspense that revolve around Hector and Clara’s brief Skype calls which seem to start suggesting that the relationship may not last as long as the once happy couple would wish it to. In fact by the time that Hector is waiting on a Californian beach for his past love, Agnes, the audience is swept up into a very emotional ‘will they, won’t they’ state.
Hector And The Search For Happiness does have a fairly major weakness though. While Simon Pegg puts in a wonderful acting performances that shows that he can now be considered one of those actors who can really shine when it comes to putting in a dramatic role away from his normal comedic genre, a lot of the other cast is massively under used. On the back of Rosamund Pike’s Oscar rumored performance in Gone Girl she is completely wasted in the role of the highly strung Clara. Meanwhile even Stellan Skarsgard, Jean Reno, Christopher Plummer and Toni Collette only get to play one-dimensional characters that never get enough screen-time to really show what they are capable of.
Still Hector And The Search For Happiness is a highly enjoyable film. It does suck you in in a way that you wouldn’t predict when the film starts. Chelsom shows that’s he is an inventive filmmaker with some creative moments in which he makes Hector’s inner thoughts and his notebook sketches come to life on the screen. The film’s real mix of comedy and drama keeps its audience well and truly entertained while it also allows Simon Pegg the opportunity to show that he has the acting ability to be in films of real substance and not just the weaker comedies that he has been doing recently. Hector And The Search For Happiness is a thought provoking film that deserves more credit than it has currently been receiving.
Other Subculture Entertainment Reviews of ‘Hector And The Search For Happiness′: For our full Hector And The Search For Happiness review please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #102 . Dave’s Hector And The Search For Happiness review can also be viewed on The Book The Film The T-Shirt.