A Hologram for the King

2016

Comedy / Drama

A Hologram for the King (2016) download yts

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Tom Hanks as Alan Clay
Sarita Choudhury as Dr. Zahra Hakeem
Ben Whishaw as Dave
720p 1080p
789 GB
1280*720
R
23.976 fps
1hr 37 min
P/S Unknown
1.49 GB
1920*1080
R
23.976 fps
1hr 37 min
P/S Unknown

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Victoria Weisfeld 5 / 10

Disappointing Treatment of Much-Praised Book

Not every comedy is for everyone (at least I think this was supposed to be a comedy). Last week I saw The Big Lebowski (1998) at the local movie theater. Packed. People in Lebowski t-shirts, people who raised hands to show they'd seen the movie five, ten, twenty times, people anticipating the laugh lines. Eighteen years from now, nothing like that will happen with this film from German director Tom Twyker. Tom Hanks is American businessman Alan Clay, whose marriage is over and whose career as a salesman is on the skids. In what appears to be a last chance at success, he's sent to Saudi Arabia to sell the king on a costly holographic teleconferencing system for a new city being built in the desert. He encounters bureaucratic delays, clandestine alcohol consumption, confounding cultural gaps, and unexpected romance. Where I messed up was in thinking, "Oh, Tom Hanks. He's always great." Someone so talented just wouldn't be in a mediocre film. Why would he? And, I thought, "Oh, Dave Eggers wrote the book it's based on. Got lots of praise for it too." For example, New York Times reviewer Pico Iyer called the book "an anguished investigation into how and where American self-confidence got lost and — in the central word another lonely expat uses for Alan— 'defeated.'" And the Boston Globe: "True genius." Someplace along the way, the promise of the book and Hanks got lost, and a more disjointed and implausible narrative is hard to imagine. When we're told that the crowds Hanks saw at a mosque were there because "that's where the executions are," it's hard to believe that a Saudi woman would take the very great risk of being alone with him, an American infidel. Hanks does get to drive a very sexy 2015 Audi R8, briefly. But even that isn't worth the ticket price.

Reviewed by bob-the-movie-man 5 / 10

H is for Hologram. I is for Inconsistent. J is for Jumble. K is for King.

In terms of bankable movie experiences, you can seldom go wrong with a Tom Hanks movie can you? While there are a few pages in his portfolio he might prefer to forget ("The Bonfire of the Vanities" anyone?) his movies are nearly all eminently watchable. And "A Hologram for the King" puts him into what might be deemed a 'preferred' character role for his acting style – an every-man in a strange land facing trials and tribulations with hearty American bonhomie.

But here it doesn't really work, and it's not even Hanks' fault.

Hanks plays struggling salesman Alan who is given a do-or-die mission to sell one of his company's holographic videoconferencing systems to the King of Saudi Arabia as a way into winning a big IT supply contract for a new desert city being constructed. Promising his bosses success, he arrives to find a deflated demonstration team struggling to put on a show with the lack of the basic essentials: wi-fi; air-con; food! Alan has to battle with both local custom and obstructive secretaries to try to save the day, helped by his driver Yousef (newcomer Alexander Black).

Adding extra pressure to the mix is his marital status - Alan is recently divorced, and needing to financially support his daughter Kit (Tracey Fairaway) through college - and an alarming cyst that has suddenly appeared on his back. The latter requires the tender care of local doctor Zara (Sarita Choudhury, possibly best known as Saul's wife from "Homeland") and an unlikely cross-cultural friendship is struck up.

I was really looking forward to seeing this movie, partly because I like Tom Hanks and partly because of the quirky Talking Heads "Once in a Lifetime" rendition in the trailer (which actually opens the film, and is great – I loved it). There are also a host of enjoyable episodic plot elements set against spectacular Arabian vistas that are memorable. However, that is all they are – episodes. Unfortunately, the whole film is a jumble of tidbits that never gel into any sort of satisfactory story arc: We have an "infidel in the middle of Mecca" scene, that suddenly ends without event or note; We head off on a wolf hunt that subsides into… well, I have no idea what: perhaps the denouement was supposed to mean something deep and meaningful, but it meant nothing to me; Even the main storyline tends to fizzle out to be replaced with an aquatic-based sub-story of inter-racial love. True that this romance is both touching and well done, but it feels entirely bolted on at the point you expect the film to end - it really doesn't integrate well.

Blame for this must rest with writer/director Tom Twyker ("Run Lola Run" and the almost impenetrable Hanks movie "Cloud Atlas", which I must admit I never got to the end of on a plane!) I think Hanks should consider playing the "two strikes and you're out" card with this director.

Hanks and Choudrey are fine in their leading roles, and the film really comes alive in the scenes between Hanks and Alexander Black as Yousef - his "driver, guide, hero!". There is really good chemistry between them, and although Black is a little too American- looking to genuinely pass as an Arab, he is effective and is probably the 'find' of the film.

Sidse Babett Knudsen (from TV's "Borgen") is also very attractive and personable as the sex-starved Danish contractor Hanne. Also watch out for cameo's from Tom Skeritt and Ben Wishaw.

But the acting talent - however hard they try - and the glorious cinematography (by Twyker regular Frank Griebe) can't make up for the erratic screenplay. This is a real shame, since the storyline around battling the adverse conditions of software demonstration abroad is a good one. As someone who used to work for IBM and did many demonstrations of this type in trade shows in far flung places in the Middle East, the Far East, Africa and South America, I have shared their pain, and it is enough to drive you to despair and madness. An opportunity squandered.

Reviewed by gigagondy 8 / 10

Hilarious, Heartfelt, and Human

This film is of the sort that is very rare in modern cinema (or the cinema of any period, really): a thoughtful, compelling story for adults in which the life of the protagonist gets better, not worse. A bombastic, jarring, and hilarious opening sequence fills us in on everything that's gone wrong in Alan Clay's (Tom Hanks) life- he's lost his house, his fancy car, his wife, and he's about to go to Saudi Arabia on business. He attributes all of his other problems (lack of energy, poor job performance, sexual impotence) to a benign tumor on his back. He struggles with a lack of Wi-Fi and air conditioning, a business "contact" that always seems to be out of town, indefinite delays, and the innumerable laws and customs of a foreign land. These Kafkaesque elements and director Tom Tykwer's touches of magical realism seem at first to shape A Hologram for the King into a surreal black comedy, the sort of story where the failed businessman is battered down by the inhumanity of capitalism and decides to kill himself rather than face the pathetic reality of his life. But Clay's Middle Eastern odyssey becomes strangely uplifting as he alternately battles and bumbles his way through all his woes. Hologram is never as single-faceted as the moral fable, financial drama, or culture-clash comedy it could have been; instead, it is a subtly heartfelt and frequently hilarious film that shows us that the human experience may not be as hopeless as most other "serious" movies would have you believe.

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