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Hippopotamus (The)

UK, English, 89 mins

  • Director: John Jencks
  • Writer: Stephen Fry; Tom Hodgson; Blanche McIntyre
  • Producer: Alexa Seligman; Jay Taylor

CGiii Comment

By jove...what an unmitigated disaster.

Admittedly, the first 5 minutes are hysterical...and then, quite literally, it falls apart right before your very eyes! It's like a slow jaw-drop...as the story develops, the cringe factor increases as the convoluted plot unfurls.

Painfully over-written and remarkably unfunny...profanities delivered in a plummy accents are at the crux of the humour...well-placed expletives can be effective...but, The Hippopotamus is littered with them...accompanied by some mightily hideous characters too!

Tim McInnerny's gay Oliver is what stereotypical nightmares are made of...he's a grotesque, flapping pansy.

The French Dame and her [plain] daughter...why? They brought nothing to the story!!!

Russell Tovey appears and disappears within the blink of an eye. Seeing John Standing in such a diminutive role was...sad.

When the whodunnit revelation is revealed...that sound you hear...is the collective jaws hitting the floor...protracted piffle! That equine reveal?!? WTF!!!

It's like watching an anglified French farce (minus the farce and only an unnecessary soupçon of French) with bits of Evelyn Waugh and Agatha Christie thrown in to frustrate rather than to tantalise...in other words, it's a mangy, messy, menage of ideas.

Stephen Fry may be a national treasure...but, as a novelist, the jury is still out! Why this was even adapted for the screen is a farce in itself.


The(ir) Blurb...

Disgraced poet Ted Wallace is summoned to his friends Lord and Lady Loganʼs country manor, Swafford Hall, to investigate a series of unexplained miracle healings. Ted tracks down the perpetrator of the phenomena, fifteen year old David Logan, whose parents believe he has healing hands. Unaware that David is using some unorthodox methods, the Logans are set on sharing their sonʼs ʻgiftʼ with the world. With a poetʼs passion for the truth, Ted hurries to debunk the miracles and save a young man from a lifetime of embarrassment.

Cast & Characters

Matthew Modine as Michael Logan;
Russell Tovey as Rupert Keynes;
Emily Berrington as Jane Swann;
Fiona Shaw as Anne Logan;
Geraldine Somerville as Rebecca Logan;
Roger Allam as Ted Wallace;
Tim McInnerny as Oliver Mills;
Lyne Renee as Valerie;
Tommy Knight as David;
Adrian Bouchet as Marcus Andronicus;
Scott Chambers as Roman Wallace;
John Standing as Podmore;
Benedict Taylor as Chauffeur;
Sebastian Croft as Young David Logan;
Richard Glover as Nigel Ogden

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