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A Hologram for the King


Year: 2016 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: Unknown 
Certificate: BBFC 12A Cert – Under 12s admitted only with an adult 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Tom Tykwer 
Starring: Tom Hanks, Alexander Black, Sarita Choudhury  
An image from A Hologram for the King

Tom Hanks is a businessman shipped out to Saudi Arabia to negotiate a deal with the King regarding a state of the art holographic communication systems. Any thought that it might have been easy is quickly scuppered – his team are in poor conditions, his contact is never around and his health starts to take a turn for the worse. In pursuit of the deal of a lifetime, he comes across a beautiful doctor (Sarita Choudhary) and Yousef (Alexander Black), a wise-cracking taxi driver, who help him re-evaluate his priorities and focus on what is really important. In many ways, A Hologram for the King is a story about confusion, perplexity and frustration – it doesn’t sound like it should make for a particularly enjoyable film, but the execution renders it as a gently uncomfortable comedy. This is largely down to the screen presence of Hanks, who employs a slightly darker and more down-on-his-luck version of his everyman persona but remains as engaging as always. Hanks in the anchor that buoys the film, and which helps make a film that could otherwise have been a forgettable and gentle drama in something a bit more special.

Reece Goodall

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Screenings of this film:

2016/2017 Autumn Term (digital)