In the Discworld, it is Hogswatch Eve and children are anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Hogfather. Someone doesn’t want the Hogfather to make his scheduled rounds and hires the Guild of Assassins to kill the jolly, fat man. Against the fierce Mr. Teatime of the Guide of Assassins can anyone win? Can Hogswatch be saved?
I have not read any of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels so cannot speak to this movie being an accurate translation of the [easyazon_link asin=”B0010X741Y” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]Hogfather[/easyazon_link] novel. If it is an accurate translation, I deeply regret never having read the novels and hope to rectify that grave error as soon as possible.
Michelle Dockery (Dowton Abbey) plays Death’s granddaughter, Susan. Susan is a weary governess whose primary job seems to be banishing monsters when the wheels start to turn in the plot to kill the Hogfather. My only exposure to this actress is through the [easyazon_link asin=”B0010X741Y” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]Hogfather[/easyazon_link] movie and “Dowton Abbey.” In both roles, she plays characters that have seen more than she ever wanted to see and done more than she ever wanted to do.
There’s a genuine fatigue from which she needs to be liberated. From the moment she disappears into a cellar watched with interest by a crowd led by her employer as a seeming battle ensues and she returns with a battle worn fireplace poker, viewers know that this is a character to watch with interest. Marc Warren is Mr. Teatime, the would-be assassin commissioned to kill the Hogfather. Mr. Teatime is quietly creepy and brutal. He’s Willie Wonka-driven ever more off kilter after decades on lockdown in a facility for the criminally insane. The cleverness inherent in the creation of Mr. Teatime and, really, all of the characters are stunning. Framed in the Victorian-like darkness of Discworld, the edge of absurdity is just far enough.
There are some elements that I think would likely shine better on the page. There were some elements of back story that felt as though they were lacking that might have been fleshed out in book form. Even so, without knowledge of some structures and motivations, I was pulled into the story and characters. I am a huge fan of the humor delivered in a dry, deadpan style. I found Death simply hilarious. He reminded me strongly of Dave Turner’s more approachable version of the character. He has problems and one of those problems is the disappearance of the Hogfather, so the only thing he can do is strap on a beard, stuff a pillow under his robe and get to work.[easyazon_link asin=”B0010X741Y” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]Hogfather[/easyazon_link] is brilliant written, well cast and just a lot of fun to watch. In the last week, I’ve viewed it three times and see new elements each time while still laughing and, unusually for me, not fast-forwarding through things I don’t like because everything is essential. I bought my version of [easyazon_link asin=”B0010X741Y” locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”rabidreaders-20″]Hogfather[/easyazon_link] on iTunes and plan to add it to my annual holiday viewing. If you like fantasy and humor, pick up the book or watch the movie today on:
In 2009, Terry Pratchett received the knighthood for “services to literature.” In 1998, he was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his “services to literature.” Pratchett is a author of science fiction, horror and now mainly fantasy books. His Discworld let to dedicated conventions among his fans worldwide.