“All of us harbour dark recesses of violence and horror,” says Anthony Hopkins acting as director Alfred Hitchcock.
The behind-the-scenes biopic is a peek at Hitchcock’s greatest achievement and struggle, the revolutionary classic Psycho.
Hopkins gives a convincing portrayal of the 60-year-olds gentlemanly arrogance; the pursed lips, waddle, well-spoken with a fixation for the younger women.
It is a shame that the voice is a little off, but we can forgive that.
The film is centred on an impressive cast with Scarlett Johansson as the panic-stricken lead Janet Leigh, and Helen Mirren as the hardworking wife Alma Reville.
Hitchcock’s in turmoil with Psycho, desperate to pull it off. His relationship becomes strained. Alma becomes increasingly unappreciated, in the shadows of the “great and glorious Alfred Hitchcock.”
He succumbs to her and they work together, financing the film independently when Paramount Pictures rejects its content of voyeurism, incest and transvestisms.
People appear disgusted by the gore and Hitchcock swears his cast to secrecy and boldly continues.
However, so do the doubts, nightmares and visions a regular occurrence. Alma supports him “unquestionably” as he deteriorates, editing the film for the difficult censors, a daunting task. The duo balance one another, a tale of love as it is of horror.
Oh, but what of the unforgettable knife scene? Well seeing Johansson’s performance proved impressive and convincing. Not just a pretty face but an incredible actress.
The ending would satisfy the “master of suspense”, heartfelt before concluding direct to camera with a clever twist.