Hippo is a tense chamber thriller from director Edward A. Palmer with a very strange title.
The film begins, as befits pictures of this genre, with an instant immersion of the viewer into an atmosphere of frightening ignorance: a young girl Ruby (Ingvild Deyla) regains consciousness after a disturbing vision and finds herself in an equally disturbing environment, which is a gloomy room, very similar to a prison cell . Trying to come to her senses, she realizes that she does not remember anything. How did she get here? Where is she? What does all this mean? All these questions remain to be answered.
Things get more complicated when the girl discovers that her legs are injured and she cannot move normally. Finally, a certain Tom (Stuart Mortimer) appears offering care and says he is saving her. The confused and frightened victim is in no hurry to trust him. Tom makes it clear: she will not see freedom until … she loves him. From that moment on, a subtle psychological game begins between them. The kidnapper intends to convince the victim of sincere love for her and the complete absence of a threat on his part, gaining trust and reciprocal love, and the victim tries to escape by pretending to be indifferent to him.
Gradually the situation is heating up. At the same time, strange memories begin to visit the girl, which by no means bring the solution closer. Circumstances become more and more confusing and do not allow anything to be confidently asserted until the very end. In this case, the main action does not go beyond the small room.
The meaning of the film
“Hippo” builds the entire storyline and semantic line on human psychology, turning his behavior, consciousness and subconsciousness into an intricate labyrinth in which the viewer simply has to get lost even with sensitive attention and scrupulous analysis. At first it seemed true, in the end it can turn into a cunning deception designed to mislead.
The film presents one big puzzle that the viewer will have to unravel, probably after watching it. He will have to unravel the meaning of the small details that appear during the course of events, independently build the entire logical chain, separate lies and illusion from truth and reality. However, the puzzle film will fundamentally oppose the search for a solution: this is the author’s intention.
The concept is based on the idea of presenting the subjective point of view formed in the head of the main characters as an objective one, pushing two minds and confusing angles. From the resulting mixture of contradictions, a story has been created that gives room for interpretation. Against this background, it will not be out of place to review the film, simultaneously correcting your own interpretation of what you see.
The title of the painting deserves special attention. One can only guess, and here is a wild animal. Perhaps the point is the consonance of the word hippopotamus (eng. hippopotamus) with the hypothalamus – the part of the brain responsible for memory, which plays an important role in the thriller, where much depends on memories.
Characteristics of heroes
Ruby, overwhelmed with fear, tries to get out of the ill-fated room. The captive is ready to go to deceit and pretense for the sake of salvation, which speaks of her determination and intelligence. She needs to understand what happened and find the strength to defeat the kidnapper in this difficult game. Ingvild Deyla, best known for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Stories” and “The Avengers: Age of Ultron”, successfully coped with this role.
Tom, who has kidnapped Ruby, is trying to take possession of her, to charm the girl. Behind his loving mask lies an ambiguous character and obscure motives that drive him. They, like Ruby’s past, need to be unraveled. Stuart Mortimer managed to organically embody such a difficult image.
“Hippo” is an interesting thriller that can surprise you with plot intricacies. Worth a look for those who:
- He likes complex plots that require reflection.
- He watches with interest the development of psychologically complex relationships between the characters.
- Wants to enjoy the tension and suspense that persists throughout the film.
Explain the ending of the movie Hippopotamus
Part of my family is convinced that Tom was telling the truth, others think that Tom is lying. Some things that I do not understand and I would like to discuss them with those who watched the film.
Ruby’s Dream: She has a dream in which she is drowning and about to be rescued, but cannot see who is rescuing her. Is this just a symbol that Tom is trying to restore her memories? Or is it a real memory that she has to forget because that’s what Tom wants?
There is one quick flashback that shows Tom injecting Ruby with a sedative (with a syringe) as she tries to open the door. It’s the door to the room, and he was just preventing escape? Or did it happen in front of the room and was it the scene of the original kidnapping? (We don’t remember what she was wearing in that scene).
To sum up: Is Tom telling the truth? Or is he evil?