Film: Recommendation – Hector And The Search For Happiness

By James

It turns out that this film wasn’t rated too highly - by pretty much every critic I have come across. The vast majority of which, basically, state how the film is swamped in schmaltz, leaving little else to be watched or appreciated. Well, I’m here to make a case for the opposite. I think it is a delightful little film with a performance from Simon Pegg that just makes me smile.

Because, as far as I know, everyone that’s watched the film (and isn’t a critic) has really enjoyed it.

So, the premise is a psychiatrist who is too scared to move on or develop his life - both professionally and personally. This leads to the brilliant idea of travelling the world (on his own) in an attempt to expand his horizons; experiencing life for what it is and mature emotionally from the rut he has found himself in. This leads him to some of the most exotic places in the world, which is one of the main highlights for me.

China, Africa and America are just three of the stops on his worldwide trip. Each one presents Hector with new adventures, new experiences and new people to interact and learn from. All the while he is, literally, ‘searching for happiness’. With his little notebook, he makes notes, draws pictures and records each and every moment to try and dissect the state of being happy.

What he discovers is that happiness is whatever you want it to be. What you need it to be and is more the amalgamation of everything rather than any particular piece or part of your life.

Or so it’s presented in this interpretation...

The acting is, therefore, very positive and enlightening in its nature. Each character adds something extra to the emotional pallet that is presented on screen. Whether it is the ability to hope, the ability to conquering everyday trials or simply facing your fears. Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgard and Jean Reno are just a few of the big names that bring the varying aspects that make up a person, to life.

I couldn’t recommend this film without dedicating a paragraph to the main man. I have always been a huge fan of Simon Pegg and in this film, he didn’t disappoint. He gives a very strong performance which, at times, was extremely moving. It was acting I’d not seen him deliver before. Either it was a great performance or it just seemed to strike a chord with me. Either way, it was excellent to watch on screen - simply for the myriad of emotions he displays and, I think, he needs to take the credit for holding this chaos and exuberance together.

So, I just want to put it out there - I love this film. I love everything about it, hence the recommendation: The locations make me want to travel more than I already do, I have more respect for Simon Pegg’s acting ability than I ever have before and I love the message of the film. It’s a cliche message of not worrying about the destination and instead, enjoying the journey. The piece of work, this cast and Peter Chelsom’s directing has brought us, is just a warming and feel-good film. It makes me want to get out there and enjoy life - everything it has to offer, from the distant locations and sights to the people that are in your everyday life.

My message is live life to the full. It’s too short to do otherwise…

Very sappy and cliche. It’s getting emotional up in here. Let me know what you think on Twitter @MugwumpBlog.

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