What is happiness? How do you know if you’re really happy? Are the questions that Hector (played by Simon Pegg) answer in this world-wind of a film.
This film is primarily about a middle aged man who is used to having a simple and controlled life; everything has been the same for ten years. He gets up, has breakfast, goes to work, has dinners, kisses his girlfriend goodnight and then goes to bed. His job, as a psychiatrist, has become mundane and he is half heart-idly listening and putting in effort to his patients. As a result, he sees a decline in his patients achievements. Hector soon realises that he wants to find out what it really means to be happy by travelling round the world, to help his patients and ultimately help himself. This sudden decision results in leaving his everyday life abruptly.
The main actor, Simon Pegg, is spectacular in this film; his versatility and ability to provoke countless emotions to audience throughout the film is one of his best traits. I was hysterically laughing, crying and questioning my own idea of happiness at one point.
As well, the film beautifully depicts the nature of travelling and escapism and shows that being surrounded by the same objects and people every day can be draining. Also, that a strict routine can be lethal. During the film, Hector travels to China, Africa and Los Angeles. Throughout his time in these places, he goes on a quest to ask as many people as possible ‘Are you happy?’ and ‘What makes you happy?’ each time new and surprising answers and depicted from these people and has all contributed to his own journey of self-discovery.
Throughout the whole of the film I was intrigued by the whole concept of happiness and how this could be answered in so many different ways. I was moved and shocked at what I discovered. It is in fact true that no matter how successful or rich you are, if you are not enjoying what you are doing… what is the point? Simon Pegg, as Hector, allows this thought process to continue throughout his adventure meeting dangerous, exciting and wild people to make him realise what he has got already in his life and most importantly to never hold onto the past, whoever is in it and whatever is there it is so important to let go and live in the now.
Overall, this film has everything you need, laughter, emotion, romance and a discovery of one’s self. Not only that, It has left me with food for thought about my own life and to always do things that make me happy on top of anything else.