In Hotel Methuselah, stage and film form an elaborate and sometimes alarming relationship which, in turn, tells of the various and surprising encounters of Harry, a night porter.
I have never quite understood what it is about night porters that make them such compelling confidants in fiction but Harry has obviously got it. In and out the people go, whispering him secrets - and in and out of their rooms he goes and in and out, their latest secret. Technically and visually, it’s incredibly slick and beautiful but, like Harry’s various encounters, this proves to be superficial.
Beautiful things are boring - there is not enough tension and the script is trite and riddled with cliches. The cast talk in flat little voices and the similarity of the characters may be deliberate but is ultimately tiring. The technical and visual trickery that is initially charming becomes frustrating, the cleverness becomes tedious and the overwhelming urge is a need to escape the relentless artifice. The design by Laura Hopkins and Rodrigo Velasquez’s digital cinematography are both to be highly commended but an encounter with Hotel Methesulah is like an encounter with one of Harry’s women - aesthetically pleasing but imbued with a sense of growing disappointment as you realise that behind the smiling face is a great big hole.