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  • Benjamin Maio Mackay

A Hologram for the King - 4 Stars

Beautifully crafted, insightful look at a mid-life crisis is superbly acted - but will fail to find an audience.

In recession-ravaged 2010, American businessman Alan Clay (Tom Hanks), broke, depressed, and freshly divorced, arrives in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to close what he hopes will be the deal of a lifetime. His mission: sell a state-of-the-art holographic teleconferencing system to the Saudi government. 

Ever since Captain Phillips Tom Hanks has been on winning streak, picking only the best movies to star in. He keeps up this trend with A Hologram for the King. His performance alone could carry this movie - the way he plays a middle-aged business man having a breakdown is incredible. His level of emotional input is second to none. The supporting cast are also exquisite, Alexander Black and Sarita Choudhury both match Hank’s ability - which isn’t an easy task.

The script is also fantastic, it aptly captures real life - the character enters the movie with a series of problems, but while his journey and story progresses over the 90 minutes he leaves the movie with problems. This isn’t a typical Hollywood approach, but demonstrates that not everything can instantly fix itself. Tom Tykwer, who directed and adapted this film should be very proud of what he’s achieved - it’s an incredible piece of artwork.

Overall due to limited promotion and an at times emotionally harrowing narrative I fear that not many people will see this film. It is a serious contender for next year’s Oscars and one that I recommend all to see.

4 Stars

Review by Benjamin Maio Mackay

Screening courtesy of Palace Nova Cinemas

A Hologram For the King is screening exclusively at Palace Nova Cinemas in SA

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