DVD Review: The Girl

After its festive television premiere, The Girl makes its way to DVD on the 7th of January 2013. Despite, much hype surrounding casting and the real life events which inspired the film, The Girl just does not have enough substance to provide a satisfying watch.

Julian Jarrold's film follows Alfred Hitchcock and his increasingly obsessive relationship with Tippi Hedren during the making of The Birds and Marnie.

Despite high expectations, The Girl does not have a huge amount to say, apart from painting an unflattering picture of Hitchcock. Jarrold's film feels like it simply skims of the surface of the story - mainly by recreating moments of Hitchcock's cruelty - but never attempting to delve into the psyche of the director. Once we have seen Hitchcock make a pass at Hedren or use live birds without the actresses knowledge, there really is not a huge amount else to The Girl. It merely recreates moments of cruelty but has very little to say about them.

Hitchcock is such an iconic and well-known figure that it is surely a challenge for any actor to take on the role. Despite, Toby Jones' best efforts, the actor does not simply look or behave like one would expect Hitchcock to, making a large part of The Girl feel rather unconvincing. The treatment of Hitchcock also feels particularly one-sided - his relationship with wife, Alma Hitchcock feels barely touched upon, nor were the more complicated facets of his personality - he is simply reduced to a dirty old man here.

Fortunately, Sienna Miller proves particularly well cast as Hedren. The actress brings a gentle charm and elegance to the role, giving what feels like a hugely authentic performance. Jarrold's film does delve into the emotional state of Hedren in some detail, which is perhaps its strongest feature, giving Miller a chance to shine.

For fans of The Birds and Marnie, it is also rather enjoyable to see several iconic filmic moments recreated, with their production explored in further detail. A clear standout is the rather difficult to watch phonebox scene in The Birds.

Whilst The Girl will provide Hitchcock fans with a pleasing sense of nostalgia, it feels too limited - lacking any real sense of depth. The Girl does allow Miller a chance to shine as Hedren, but it presents us with a rather one sided, flawed portrait of Hitchcock.

The Girl is available to order from Amazon.


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