Last week I went to see the latest Tom Hanks film, A Hologram for the King. It’s an enjoyable film following his character, salesman Alan Clay. Clay is unhappy with life, divorced, struggling at work at not able to pay his daughter’s college fees. He has a chance to improve things when the opportunity arises for him to fly to Saudi Arabia. His company want him to secure a contract for their holographic conference system which they want to incorporate into a new city the king is building.
When he arrives in Saudi Arabia things are not as rosy as he hopes. He has a huge lump on his back which is a big worry, he’s under pressure from his boss, he keeps sleeping in and when he arrives at the new city nothing is happening! Due to his oversleeping he meets local taxi driver, Yousef, and the two men’s relationship is a great part of the film. At times funny and other times poignant – Especially when Yousef takes Alan away from the city to visit his family home.
The film explores some of the cultural differences between America and Saudi Arabia, it looks at how business has changed with the emergence of China and the also the human element of creating relationships. We follow Alan Clay from a very dark, destructive place and finally begin to move forward with his life. In a way it is a story of his own self-discovery, there is love, laughter and exploration.
There are some funny parts to the film and overall I would say it is a nice and pleasant film. It won’t be winning Hanks any awards but I am not sure he can do a bad film!
Have you seen Hologram for a King? What were your thoughts if you have? Comment below!