A hologram for the King (based on the Novel by Dave Eggers) tries to mix several elements of the story, and unfortunately, it does not quite succeed. It’s part mature romance, part lost soul midlife crisis journey, mixed with US/Middle East culture clashes and free product placement. Apparently, all educated people in Saudi Arabia drive shiny new Audi and surf the Internet on Sony Vaio laptops.
This Film also has trouble settling into a Tone, as it tries to add moments of magical Mood where Alan (Tom Hanks) will cross with palpable feeling one of the many ultraconservative lines of the desert sand with real problems with the Saudi natives.
Tom Hanks in the central role is as good as you expect. Beautifully portrays a man drawn in many directions as he tries to recover from a catastrophic business decision at home and deal with a competitive global market while trying to secure his daughter’s tuition.
However, his performance cannot anchor Tom Tykwer’s clumsy approach to telling this story. Is it a faithful adaptation of the book? No Idea. But it sounds like an honest attempt to incorporate many elements of the source material, which may have led to the problems I experienced with this Film. Tom Tykwers, a hologram for the king, wastes too much time with secondary characters, leaving the larger Mojo rediscovery and romance angles a little underdeveloped.
The trailer for A Hologram for the King sells this Film as a Culture Clash comedy with a romantic angle on the side. That’s a little misleading. Expect a serious Movie with some humorous moments.
The Best Format:
This is a beautifully photographed production, and looks great on a theater screen. If you wait for the rental, you will see the HD Version on a beautiful large TV.
Tom Hanks and Sarita Choudhury had great chemistry, and their on-screen romance was ripe and very genuine.as