Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Sean Kelly

TIFF 2014: Hector and the Search for Happiness

HectorandtheSearchforHappiness

A British psychiatrist goes on a soul searching journey for happiness in Hector and the Search for Happiness.  Hector (Simon Pegg) is a London psychiatrist, who lives a tidy, uncomplicated, satisfactory life with his girlfriend Clara (Rosamund Pike).  After a particularly bad day, Hector decides that he needs to get away and find out the meaning of happiness.  Hector proceeds to go on a trip to China, Africa, and Los Angeles and takes notes on the different definitions of happiness he encounters.  Along the way, Hector meets up with a number of interesting individuals, including rich banker Edward (Stellan Skarsgård), drug lord Diego (Jean Reno), ex-girlfriend Agnes (Toni Collette), and happiness expert Professor Coreman (Christopher Plummer).

Hector and the Search for Happiness is a film that allows British comedian Simon Pegg to show off his dramatic chops in a worldwide journey.  Hector’s search for happiness is logged in a notebook given to him before the journey, the entries of which are displayed on screen as Hector writes them down.  The film also features a few animated sequences, representative of illustrations Hector draws in the notebook.

While there is much comedy in Hector and the Search for the Happiness, this is very much a more dramatic role for Simon Pegg.  In fact, there is a section late in the second act, where the film has a pretty dark tonal shift, which might catch viewers off guard.  The film has a very large ensemble cast, most of which appear for only a single section of Hector’s journey.  The most constant supporting actor in the film is Rosamund Pike, even though she spends much of the film relegated to Skype conversations. Altogether, Hector and the Search for Happiness turned out to be a touching soul searching journey.

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Screenings:

  • No upcoming screenings (film opens regularly on September 26)

Sean Kelly

About Sean Kelly -

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).