Coltt’s latest recruit Aideen Fox on “Hector and The Search For Happiness”, and why it surprised her
A psychiatrist travels the globe to find happiness - this couldn’t sound more clichéd, and yet the film is. It does exactly what it says on the tin, and everything is foreseeable.
What I found though, if you try look past the utterly chronic plot and structure, there is something quite compelling about this film. Hector (Simon Pegg) is a rich, healthy physiatrist who is simply unsatisfied with his life; so what is the answer? To conjure up a small fortune, completely abandon his job and devoted girlfriend, and travel to the four corners of the globe in the hope (but with no guarantee) that he will find inner peace and happiness. Hector travels the world (via first class) to get an insight into what happiness is, ultimately for the benefit of his patients.He visits Buddhist monks, African communities and returns to his long lost love who has rebuilt her entire life in LA (without him), just for the sake of a new peace of mind.
The story line really speaks for itself, but I cannot come to bring myself to say I regret going to see it. This film expresses culture and adventure in a beautiful way. It has been shot with an entrancing illustration and creative filming techniques, which are surprisingly unique and wonderful. As for Pegg’s performance - although he is evidently trying to explore more emotionally driven acting roles, I think comedy is truly his forté. Although his acting was funny and heartwarming, at times there was an insincerity about it. Pegg seemed desperate to compel the audience and breakthrough to show that he is a multigenerational actor, which only felt contrived.
There were a few other problems with Hector: the writers over-simplified the concept of happiness by reducing it to a list of specific things you must to complete in order to achieve contentedness. Also, the over-all message of the film seems to be that you must voyage around the globe in order to find peace, which is just completely irrational. The script had a lot of potential, and there was an abundance wasted talent such as Rosamund Pike and Jean Reno, both of whom had minor parts to play, yet still were incredible and brought the film together with their ability to switch between humour and drama with ease.
The plot was abysmal, but I do believe this film had a light hearted intention, and I honestly felt uplifted leaving the cinema. It surprised me.