A Hologram For the King is a comedy-drama based on the novel by the same name, written by Dave Eggers.
Tom Hanks is Alan Clay, a salesman on the verge of a breakdown: painful divorce, economical issues, work instability. H
e travels to Saudi Arabia to sell a holographic conference system to the king. Things do not exactly go as expected.
Tom Hanks is absolutely brilliant! After seeing him in the last few yea
rs playing very defined and very real characters, like Walt Disney (Saving Mr Banks), James Donovan (Bridge of Spies) and Captain Phillips, it is almost refreshing to see him playing a character we can all relate to: he is funny, insecure, awkward but absolutely adorable (I’m sure I’m not the only one relating to that?!).
The story is very well adapted into a screenplay by the director himself, Tom Tykwer (Cloud Atlas, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer). I loved the Saudi Arabia setting and the clever reference to the local stereotypes which shows how, even when our cultures are very different, we are all the same, moved by the same passions, needs and glitches.
Cinematography by Frank Griebe is stunning. Fair enough, desert and camels are already pretty dramatic on their own, but the snorkelling scene is one of the most beautiful underwater montage I have seen like.. ever.
You would like it if… Actually you would just like it. I cannot think of someone who could not enjoy this picture. It’s funny, witty, realistic enough and it has Tom Hanks in it, which come on, is always a plus.
Also starring Alexander Black, Sarita Choudhury, Sidse Babett Knudsen, Ben Wishaw and Tom Skerritt. Music by Johnny Klimek.