Ah, what a nice movie. And a very appropriate film for the season.
One of the few adaptations of Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, Hogfather follows the story of the book quite well. Imagine a world as flat as a disc, carried by four elephants, on the back of a giant turtle. And in this world, magic and fantasy are common place with wizards, bogeymen, and gods walk among mortal men. This particular story takes place during the Discworld equivalent of Christmas, where the fat man in red has gone missing forcing Death himself to take up the job. Meanwhile his granddaughter Susan investigates exactly why he disappeared, what follows is an offbeat adventure mixed with comedy, peril, and a very appropriate and extremely thought provoking issue of belief. Now it must be said, it is not necessary to read the book, though it does help. If you choose to give it a shot I ask you to keep a very open mind, and have some serious free time, the movie is split into two 90 minute episodes culminating in 3 hours. 3 hours is nothing to me, but it can be daunting to others so keep it in mind. The characters are outstanding, that's Michelle Dockery of Downton Abbey and Good Behavior fame as Susan, and believe it or not this was the second thing she ever acted in! And she does a great job, as this no nonsense, pure logical woman in a very illogical world, that's just trying to maintain an ordinary life despite the whole, her grandad is The Grim Reaper thing. Oh, and her grandfather is all things wonderful and I absolutely love him. It's difficult to describe his character strangely, he just tries his best to understand humanity because he has a great affinity for them, he may not understand everything but he just tries his best and it is incredibly endearing to me. Granted, this will probably just be my cup of tea. I love the more fantastical, and offbeat things in life so of course this thing is right up my alley but I do hope that you give it a shot! It has that Christmas or Hogswatch spirit depending on your point of view, with a fascinating and surprisingly poignant standing on the power of belief and more importantly, why you should believe in things. Quite possibly the best scene in the entire movie is a merely a conversation between Susan and Death on why human beings need to believe in things. It has such power and truth, and kinda made me get all misty-eyed. In fact that happened at least twice, the movie has just that all encompassing Christmas spirit and atmosphere just with a very odd twist to it all. I was very happy to see it, especially after reading all the Discworld Death novels, and it does improve elements of the book I have to say. With Terry Pratchett's writing, there is wandering about, and checking out other things beyond the main plot and the movie sticks to what's important but it does still wander a bit, but it's not that bad. So I had a lovely time watching this movie, I was invested even though I know how it all ended, and I daresay I would watch this every Christmas. Might be a longshot, maybe nobody will be brave enough to check it out, but honestly I loved talking about it, these books have become favorites of mine so it was nice to finally show the love for it. Regardless, we got one more review for the month (maybe) and I am heavily excited for it. So until then, Happy Hogswatch.