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[Review] – ‘Hours’

 

 
Overview
 

Release Date: 13th December 2013
 
Director: Eric Heisserer
 
Writer: Eric Heisserer
 
Cast: Paul Walker - Genesis Rodriguez - Nancy Nave
 
Direction
 
 
 
 
 


 
Writing
 
 
 
 
 


 
Performance
 
 
 
 
 


 
Sound & Music
 
 
 
 
 


 
Cinematography
 
 
 
 
 


 
Editing
 
 
 
 
 


 
Visual Effects
 
 
 
 
 


 
Total Score
 
 
 
 
 
4/5


User Rating
5 total ratings

 


0
Posted December 18, 2013 by

Review:

The late Paul Walker was best known for his action roles, especially as Brian O’Connor in the Fast and the Furious franchise. His love for fast cars led to him practically being typecast. No one could have suspected his ability to deliver the powerhouse performance we see in Hours.

Walker carries this film as its protagonist, Nolan Hayes, a grieving husband whose wife, Abigail, played by Genesis Rodriguez, has died in childbirth. Nolan has barely processed this news when he is informed that his baby daughter needs to stay in an incubator for two days before she is expected to be able to breathe on her own.

Nolan’s woes do not end here. The arrival of Hurricane Katrina sees him abandoned in the hospital, the power no longer able to keep the incubator running, forcing Nolan to use a hand-cranked battery that slowly runs out of charge, giving him less and less time to look for help.

For a film set during one of the worst disasters in human history, Hours does not revel in the destruction caused by the storm, choosing instead to focus its attention at ground-level, on the people affected by the devastation.

There are several touching moments in the film, especially when Nolan finds his wife’s body, unceremoniously dumped on the floor of the morgue due to a lack of space. The scene’s sentimentality could easily have been overplayed but Walker remains restrained while portraying Nolan’s grief.

I was surprised to learn that Hours is actually Heisserer’s debut, at least in direction; he has written films before. For a first outing, Hours is surprisingly well-made, with a cogent plot, excellent character development and some suspenseful moments. The pacing is good, giving the audience enough time to get to know Nolan, while still incorporating several suspenseful moments. Heisserer’s use of flashback also adds to the tale and he, fortunately, does not overuse the technique.

Heisserer clearly has a very good understanding of human psychology. In the beginning of the film, Nolan goes with the flow of events, reacting to them as and when needed, but then, as time and resources become scarcer, he becomes more and more creative. It is one of the standout aspects of this film and shows how Nolan is just an ordinary man in extraordinary circumstances.

Hours is an emotional rollercoaster but despite the tragic events depicted in the film, it manages to remain a heart-warming story of survival. As a final film, Hours is the perfect swansong for Paul Walker, showing us how talented he was outside of a car and action films. That Walker spent a great deal of his time helping victims of natural disasters through his Reachout Worldwide charity foundation makes this film even more of a poignant end to a wonderful career.

 

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Louis Skye
@LouisSkye77
bloggingatwarp10.blogspot.com
Freelance Contributor

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