Hitchcock: The Movie
Agent, “I have seen happier faces in a school bus about to fall off from a cliff.”
Hitchcock, “But they can’t stop looking, can they?”
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Hitchcock is not a biography of Alfred Hitchcock. The movie, released in 2012 carries the story of Alfred Hitchcock’s relationship with Alma Reville, his wife. The story is set in the background of the production of his Psycho, in 1959. There is no question regarding the status Psycho holds in the history of world cinema. Hailed one among the classics, Psycho remains an entertaining and suspenseful masterwork by the ‘master of suspense’.
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Directed by Sacha Gervasi, the Academy Award winning director, Hitchcock also portrays the trials and tribulations Alfred Hitchcock faces through the days of production of Psycho. During his days of fame and controversy, Alfred discovers the horror novel titled, Psycho, written by Robert Bloch, an American horror writer. Alfred even dumps Casino Royale for making Psycho a movie avatar. Although Alfred is puzzled over his own age, and stands answerless in front of the questions by the reporters about his waning abilities and overly routinized treatment of movies, the decision to take up Psycho, the novel based on the true story of serial killer Ed Gein.
Even after his reputation and past successes, he was refused to be produced by Paramount Pictures. This turns the project into a self financed one. Alfred himself decided to finance the movie, under the label of “Alfred Hitchcock Presents”, a television production effort that he had attempted before. Hitchcock, also shows the difficulties Psycho faced in clearing the hindrances posed by the Motion Picture Production Code. This includes issues with nudity in the famous bathtub scene.
Rich with many wonderful scenes, Hitchcock is an impressive attempt at cinematography. No wonder it won an award from St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association for best scene, “Anthony Hopkins in lobby conducting to music/audience’s reaction during “Psycho” shower scene.”
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The actors who portrayed the protagonists are Anthony Hopkins as Alfred Hitchcock, and Helen Mirren as Alma Reville. Both of them have given their best. Anthony Hopkins does not look like Anthony Hopkins at all. Scarlett Johansson plays the role of Janet Leigh, the woman in the bathtub scene.
Hitchcock is a meta-movie, a movie about another movie. Although Hitchcock directly reflects upon an episode in the life of the legendary filmmaker, it also investigates the duality of art and life. Where one begins and the other start is basic question, it explores. In the end, however, art is complemented by life. In addition, life, expects the same treatment from art. At the end, Alfred is shown talking with the audience about how it all turned out, as a continuation from how Hitchcock began. It is as if the movie unfolds through the words of Alfred. What fascinated me about Hitchcock was that the movie is based on the non-fiction work, Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho by Stephen Rebello, published in 1990.