Sofia and I saw Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (H2G2) on Saturday. We see a lot of films (probably 4-5 a month at the cinema and 6+ on DVD) and I have to say it was one of the best films I’ve seen for a long time.
“However“, Sofia asked, “was this because the film was well produced or was it because the original story is so good?”. It’s a pertinent question because I’ve never read the book – this was my “first time” with H2G2.
Yes, I’ve never read Hitchhikers. And perhaps I shouldn’t be saying this on my “professional blog”, but it’s not the only book I haven’t read. It’s a bit of a “private joke” amongst friends that I “don’t do books”. I read very few books as a teenager (apart from the ones I was forced to at school) – which is why H2G2 passed me by. Even today I very rarely read fiction. The last fiction book I read was an Andy McNabb, and that’s only because it’s touted as “near non-fiction”.
But enough of my shallowness, back to the film… Martin Freeman (of The Office fame) was excellent as the lead character, Bill Nighy and Alan Rickman (as the voice of Marvin) were good too. John Malkovich made an unusually uninspiring cameo. Stephen Fry’s narration was superb, and was nicely tied in with illustrations of the famous book produced in Macromedia Flash (apparently Flash it becoming very popular to produce these kinds of on-screen graphics in TV and film).
The production was brilliant yet quirky – something I’m always quite interested in. There seemed to be a running theme of lo-fi to hi-fi moments (like when Arthur Dent and Slartibartfast step onto the industrial lift-cage in a cheap-looking “industrial-themed” set, suddenly they are propelled into a stunning hi-fi CGI-built planet construction yard in the middle of space.)
Sofia has read the books in both English and Swedish (unlike me she’s very well read, enjoying literature in both of her fluent tongues). She said it was “very true to the book”.
Overall I’d give the film 4.5 out 5 and would certainly recommend a look unless you strongly dislike fantasy sci-fi.