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Category:    Home > Reviews > Dark Comedy > Satire > Political > Mystery > British > The Hippopotamus (2017/Electric Shadow/Lightyear Blu-ray)

The Hippopotamus (2017/Electric Shadow/Lightyear Blu-ray)

Picture: B+ Sound: B+ Extras: B Film: B+

A disgraced small time poet Ted Wallace (Roger Allam) is hired to investigate Swafford Hall, and his godson for miracles. While Ted does not believe in miracles, he does believe wealthy and rich life style while staying there, but when various guests claim to be 'healed' he cannot deny something strange maybe happening... but is it an elaborate hoax or is it real?

In John Jencks' The Hippopotamus (2017), Ted is a small time writer/poet who is jade by society and long for his glory days but he rather look down the barrel of an ale barrel and make life miserable for others. He is offered to stay at Swafford Hall where he can mooch off his rich and wealthy godson David (Tommy Knight) and his father. Apparently, David is gifted with the ability heal wounds and various guests are seeking his 'miracle' ...BUT Ted isn't convinced his godson is the next messiah/saint. Instead, he is there to discover and prove to the truth that there are no miracles in life, only charlatans and fools who believe them ...and he is not one of them ...or is he?

This movie was a comedy of errors with British accents with a hilarious end twist. It was like if man said "Only fools play the lottery and think they will win and are losers for playing" ...and then suddenly person right next to him wins. Like a jaded person, what is the point of life if there is no more wonder or joy in life? Stephen Fry co-wrote the screenplay from his own novel, with its often raw moments and Matthew Modine and Fiona Shaw are great as the couple who own the estate. The result is a dark comedy that can be a detective film of sorts, but tries to go beyond genre and has its moments at that.

The 1080p 2.35 X 1 digital High Definition image and lossless DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 mix are as good as they can get for the format, so playback performance helps bring the comedy home. Extras include making of the film, book to screen and trailers.

- Ricky Chiang


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