• Guy Jeffries

A Hologram for the King *SPOILER ALERT* Review


Director: Tom Tykwer.

Starring: Tom Hanks, Sarita Choudhury, Ben Whishaw, Alexander Black, Tom Skerritt.

Tom Tykwer unites with Cloud Atlas star Tom Hanks for this less confusing film about a salesman pitching some revolutionary holographic technology to the King of Saudi Arabia for the new metropolis they're supposedly building in the desert.

But actually, it's all about Tom Hanks character, the salesman Alan Clay who appears to be having a midlife crisis and the desert being the best place for him to get lost. Opening with the awesome Hanks rendition of 'Once In A Lifetime' by Talking Heads, it's pretty much one of the trailers.

He's rushed to the Middle East in artistic fashion with snippets along the way showing the typical strives of western life he's currently baring. Divorce, finance and supportive daughter's education. Adding jet lag, sandy heat and a golfball sized growth on his back doesn't make things any better.

We discover that tomorrow rarely comes in Saudi Arabia and we share Clay's frustration as his team and himself are plonked in a fancy black tent with no food, no AC and no WiFi and no one seems to be where they're suppose to be or say they are with empty promises of meetings apart from two people...

Yousef, Clay's appointed driver and guide who's always there at Clay's request. He's a lovable character providing comedy and a superb eighties in-car soundtrack played from a dated, gold plated iPod in his deep blue '87 Chevy Caprice. Not sure if this is an example of Hollywood's whitewashing but Yousef is played by the incredibly talented and ambitious Alexander Black, who goes to great lengths to play his parts. He's certainly someone to watch out for. (Check out his directorial debut, starring himself in this year's 'Tim')

The other character who is fairly reliable is Clay's doctor and eventual love interest, Hunger Games' Egeria, Sarita Choudhury. This quickly turns into 'You've Got Mail' and Alan and Dr. Zahra are exchanging emails which leads them into an Arabian love story and swimming in the deep blue Arabian sea.

Not having read Dave Eggers novel it's hard to judge. (Writer of 2009's Away We Go and Where The Wild Things Are.) But does make an interesting story of what might seems non quintessential about someone's life. Everyone has a story containing interesting characters like Yousef.

There's a lot left unexplained, or lacks detail and becomes anticlimactic. Nevertheless, the pace is fast but feels very long for only 98mins. Good performances and above average, but there's nothing really outstanding about this film, probably one for the smaller screen.

Running Time: 6

The Cast: 8

Performance: 9

Direction: 7

Story: 8

Script: 6

Creativity: 7

Soundtrack: 8

Job Description: 6

The Extra Bonus Point: 0

65% 7/10

#TomTykwer #DaveEggers #TomHanks #AlexanderBlack #SaritaChoudhury #BenWhishaw #TomSkerritt #JanePerry