Last night I watched Hitchcock (2012), when it was shown on Star Movies.

Hitchcock film (2012)Starring Anthony Hopkins as Alfred Hitchcock, Helen Mirren as Alma Lucy Reville (Hitchcock’s Wife), Toni Collette as Peggy Robertson, Scarlett Johansson as Janet Leigh, Jessica Biel as Vera Miles, Josh Yeo as John Gavin and James D’Arcy as Anthony Perkins. Any Hitchcockian fan, who hasn’t watched (or even heard of) this movie, can no doubt, now guess which period of Hitchcock’s life this film is set during. Yes, it’s set in the late 50’s, 1959 to be exact, during the making of his first ‘B’ movie project, that is too good to be called a B-movie. During the filming of the cult-classic Psycho (1960).

The movie begins in 1944, with Ed Gein (Michael Wincott), the serial killer that inspired the charcter of Norman Bates in Psycho, killing off his brother. Then we see Anthony Hopkins do a brilliant imitation of Hitchcock’s famed introductory ‘Good Evening’ speech from his TV series, Alfred Hitchcock Presents (1955–1962). From there the film shifts to 1959, at the premier of North By Northwest (1959) starring Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint. Hounded by the press, Hitchcock is asked, since he is 60 years old whether he plans to retire. We see his shocked face, and soon we see the even more shocking image of Hopkins’ Hitchcock in a bathtub, asking his wife (whose undergarments remind you of Janet Leigh in Psycho) if she thinks he’s too old. He’s just bored. unaware of what to do next. Soon he discovers the novel Psycho by Robert Bloch, and the rest is history as we know it.

Hitchcock's Psycho (1960)

Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960)

The performances are brilliant by all the lead, and the supporting cast. We see Hitchcock’s worry and desperation as Psycho brings them to a near financial crisis, as Paramount refuses to fund the movie. Hitchcock mortgages his house to fund the project himself. We see his wife’s support, meanwhile Hitchcock’s own paranoia and inferiority complex makes him suspect his wife, Alma, of having an affair with Whitfield Cook (Danny Huston). Only thing that somewhat bored me was Hitchcock’s psychological interactions with Ed Gein. I feel the problem was more with actor Michael Wincott playing Ed Gein. Not that he was bad, but he bored me during those sequences, for otherwise those scenes felt more of a necessity to show us Hitchcock’s own mental torture.

Loved the last scene, with a crow landing on Hitchcock’s (Hopkins’) shoulder, an obvious reference to his next project The Birds (1963), the concept of which was based on a short story by Daphne Du Maurier.

None the less, a very good movie, worth checking out, especially if you are a Hitchcockian fan. 8/10

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense