Howdy ladies and gents, welcome to another review from your strange opinionated friend, the Hypersonic55. Today I give you my review of Hector and the Search for Happiness. Now I had heard of this film just days before it came out and I wasn’t even sure I was gonna watch it, but after seeing a friend on Facebook say that it was pretty good I had to give it a try, plus it had Simon Pegg in it so it couldn’t be that bad right?
The plot for the film can be described as the following:
“Hector is a quirky psychiatrist who has become increasingly tired of his humdrum life. As he tells his girlfriend, Clara, he feels like a fraud: he hasn’t really tasted life, and yet he’s offering advice to patients who are just not getting any happier. So Hector decides to break out of his deluded and routine driven life. Armed with buckets of courage and child-like curiosity, he embarks on a global quest in hopes of uncovering the elusive secret formula for true happiness.”
The story was very fun, interesting engaging and surprisingly heartfelt. I thought I had this film figured out from the advertising and in the beginning I seriously thought I was going to watch some generic romantic comedy with a bit of drama, but this film surprised me at just how insightful and bold it is. This film’s central theme is happiness and what it means to different people and it is so intriguing to see people’s varying opinions and with the travelling to different countries you got to see different ways of life and cultures and I films where there’s travelling. What really struck me was the similar story and tone to last year’s The Secret Life of Walter Minty (which I wasn’t too keen on), this film basically gave me what I had hoped for in Walter Minty. I got emotionally invested.
When it comes to the cast they are all pretty good but it is really the central performance from Simon Pegg that makes this film special. Pegg has always been a fun and engaging actor, but he taps into deeper territories here. Hector is a psychiatrist who is living a good, if somewhat repetitive and hollow life and he’s got deep-rooted issues and he is sort of aware of his problems, but he hides it. It is not until his journey across the world begins that he truly starts to live his life and see what true happiness looks like. I feel like this is the most dramatic performance that Simon Pegg has done to date, the man is mainly known for comedy and nothing more and while he does that well here too, he does dive into some emotional territories not seen from him before and I liked seeing that. And then there’s Rosamund Pike who is wonderful as Clara, Hector’s long-time girlfriend. Pike is a successful woman in her job, has a bubbly and fun personality, she’s gorgeous and is totally dedicated to Hector and helps him in his daily life. she’s the perfect girlfriend. However she does have some insecurities of her own and due to Hector’s habits it does make for some questionable and aggressive conflicts between them. Pike has been one of those actresses that only got on my radar in the last 2 years but every time I see her I like her more and more, she’s totally fun and charismatic and a totally beautiful too. Pegg and Pike have good chemistry, their banter and relationship feels authentic and I think that’s due to their experience working together in the past.
Stellan Skarsgård is also great as Edward, he’s banker who Hector ran into while on a plane heading to China and they hang out while he’s out there. The man has a very narrow-minded view opinion on happiness but sure knows how’s to have fun when it comes to living it up on the rich side of life. I haven’t seen Skarsgård in a mean and ‘no-so-good’ kind of person, but he does his role very well and I thought he was pretty cool. Toni Collette is great as Agnes and Christopher Plummer who is always nice a nice face to see was funny and interesting as Professor Coreman. And imagine my surprise when I saw Jean Reno appear in this film. I love this guy and to see him as Diego was a delightful experience, even after all these years the guy is still a good actor and even though his part was small he was cool and intense. Oh and shout out to Togo Igawa who provided some of my favourite moments interacting with Hector as Old Monk, his character was humorous and insightful.
In conclusion Hector and the Search for Happiness is wonderful full of humour, charm, drama and life lessons. In addition to the lovely story the visual presentation is pretty and interesting and the soundtrack by Dan Mangan and Jesse Zubot is quite varied, uplifting and interesting. This is a beautiful film and leaves you with a great feeling after it is over and with an incredible central performance from Simon Pegg it is certainly a film worth a watch.
So have you seen Hector and the Search for Happiness and if so what did you think of it? Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review yo. 😀