A Hologram for the King

A Hologram for the King

DVD - 2016
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In a rising Saudi Arabian city, far from weary, recession-scarred America, a struggling businessman named Alan Clay pursues a last-ditch attempt to stave off foreclosure, pay his daughter's college tuition, and finally do something great.
Publisher: Toronto, ON :, Entertainment One,, [2016]
Branch Call Number: DVD COMEDY HOL
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (98 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in
digital,optical,rda
video file,DVD video,rda
Alternative Title: Hologramme pour le roi

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n
Nursebob
Nov 03, 2019

To understand just where Tom Tykwer’s screen adaptation of Dave Eggers’ novel goes awry you have to pin down exactly what it is you’re watching. As a culture clash comedy it relies too heavily on Western perceptions of what constitutes Saudi society to carry much weight. As a romance it seems too tacked together as Clay, a recent divorcee himself, suddenly meets a kindred spirit (Sarita Choudhury). As a whimsical evocation of one man’s mid-life crisis Tykwer’s odd flights of fancy—including Hanks belting out “Once in a Lifetime” by the Talking Heads as his entire life goes up in a puff of purple smoke—do manage to underscore the onscreen drama as Alan suffers through a series of setbacks, indignities and a medical scare or two. Sometimes a barren desert is not just a barren desert. Perhaps it works best as a metaphorical road movie between Clay and his gregarious ad hoc driver Yousef (Omar Elba’s insouciant performance providing one of the film’s few saving graces). Perpetually disheveled and exhibiting a pleasantly skewed take on life, Yousef’s casual banter with his uptight passenger, usually while American rock anthems blare from the car speakers, offer some consistency to a film which is otherwise a jumble of styles and motives. A few outdoor shots of Riyadh blend seamlessly, at least to our eyes, with lush Moroccan locations and add a fairy tale touch to a film too often bogged down in personal angst and clumsy sociopolitical critiques—oh those evil Chinese competitors.

e
elpostino
Jul 14, 2019

Light commercial film, slightly entertaining on backdrop of middle life crisis bridging two cultures. Images depict exotic locations non-known to most moviegoers. Characters and events are copied from stereotypical perceptions. The movie is definitely carried by the name of Tom Hank along with convincing performance of Alexander Black (Yousef)

i
iloveseaotters
May 20, 2019

If Tom Hanks had not been in this film, I would not have watched it at all, since it's not really my type of movie. But he is what made this movie so interesting and entertaining. It reminded me of "Lost in Translation" (A film I love) and the scenery is amazing. There is some humor in this and I like the supporting characters. The story is interesting enough that I might just try reading the book and then watching the movie again.

t
tenet
Dec 31, 2018

Rated 6/10. Not a great movie, but definitely okay. I ended up rating it a bit above average.

This movie is more about Hanks character's life, than about selling hologram technology to the Saudis. Once I got that straight in my head, I enjoyed it more.

2
21221018293347
Jul 11, 2018

A glimpse into the life of a dis-spirited salesman, his financial woes, off to Saudi to pitch a proposal to the King. A very limited glimpse into the Saudi life. A great disappointment of a movie. The acting is good, but the story line sucks.

g
gingin1972
Apr 11, 2018

Great acting! But very slow boring movie!

k
kpelish
Apr 01, 2018

Tom Hanks does a great job portraying a depressed, dissipated salesman who's buckling under the pressure to win a huge contract with the Saudi Arabia elite for his firm's holographic software. Thin plot: there's some funny scenes as American directness meets Mideastern indirectness--no, we don't know when we can meet with you; no, we don't know when we can get your team WI-FI, etc. There's a plot hole in the pressure of his college-age daughter's tuition (can't his ex-wife work? Aren't there student loans?). I enjoyed this mostly for its depiction of Middle Eastern culture (the more open country of Morocco stands in for Saudi Arabia), his friendship with a wryly funny driver, and his romance with a native doctor.

b
breemu
Mar 16, 2018

Watched this mainly for a peek into another culture and was not disappointed. Plus Tom Hanks is always enjoyable and there's an original and quite beautiful and discreet "hidden" (because of cultural restrictions) water/underwater love scene with the lovely Sarita Choudhury.

n
nordicleather
Feb 01, 2018

"A Hologram for the King" is a very slow moving movie. I found it hard to follow. The plot was as dry as the desert where it was photographed.

r
rameshn116
Jan 13, 2018

Weak comedy of sorts . Tom Hanks makes it palatable by showing the comedies of cultural confusion but I wish I had not wasted two hours of my life watching it

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Quotes

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j
jimg2000
Sep 29, 2016

On imported laborers, clearly goosed for the movie:
Film:
Look, they're sweeping sand in a desert.
-I'm guessing these aren't union men.
Oh, we don't have unions here. We have Filipinos.
===
Book:
The desert wind was strong, and the dust came over the street like fog. Still, two men were sweeping the road. Yousef pointed and laughed. —This is where the money’s going. They’re sweeping the sand in a desert. (End of chapter.)

j
jimg2000
Sep 29, 2016

Quote on public executions in film but not found in book:
Hey, that's the mosque I see from my balcony. There was something going on there yesterday. A lot of people.
-Yeah, that's where they do the executions.
You mean outside, publicly?
-Yes.
===
Schwinn went to China.
-We did. They could build our bikes a lot cheaper and a lot faster and it seemed like a good idea at the time.
But it wasn't?
-Well, obviously not. We taught them how to build a good, solid bicycle. They took that wisdom and started making all the bikes themselves. Now they own the market. Because they can sell them for nothing. But it's just a matter of taking different stickers and putting them on the very same bikes. It was built in the same factory somewhere in Asia, all the brands there are, and now Schwinn is just one of them.

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