Opened yesterday. 4/8/11
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett and Eric Bana
Directed: Joe Wright
Screenplay: Seth Lochead and David Farr
Premise: Young girl raised, by father, to be the ultimate killing machine, leaves her life of isolation and heads out into the world.
Over the years I've assembled a pretty decent sense about how I'm going to feel about a movie before seeing it. Sometimes I get fooled, but not very often. I guess it really doesn't make much difference though, seeing I even go to the ones I don't think I'll enjoy. This film does not fall into that category, not even a little. I love movies but due to the various pay per month outlets, like netflix and so forth, that have popped up these past several years, I rarely buy Blu-Rays anymore. But this film will be one of the few discs I do pick up. Just so you can see the kinds of films I buy, the last five I've bought were Let Me In (I do like the original, but I can catch that on Netflix, and most the people I know can't put up with subtitles), Inception, Kick-Ass and Avatar. This will be the next one.
I thought it would be a straight-up revenge film, but twisted up a little. It wasn't at all. Hanna turned out to be a coming of age story with definite questions on display.
The first and last scenes of the film show how a sheltered life, in the purest sense, can lead to an obscure view of the world. Animals and humans aren't really different in the eyes of someone trained to hunt for survival.
This theme of sheltered vs "civilized" is played out throughout the entire film. One scene shows Hanna drop some, freshly cut, meat on a table of the family she was tagging along with. She states "I brought breakfast". The young girl said something to the effect of gross. As an observer we find humor in the situation. Parents of the family must feel awkwardness, the girl must be thinking "what a freak" and Hanna must be confused. This idea translates from culture to culture, and can be seen anytime someone from one culture visits anothers, not fully knowing the differences between them. Another has Hanna, alone with a boy. She asks the boy if they should kiss. He goes in to kiss her, and she flips him over to the ground, almost out some raw, animal-like instinct.
The main theme, for me, in this film was the coming of age story. They did a good job showing Bana's character teacher Hanna. But then it was very obvious that there was only so much "teaching" can do. Eventually you must experience. From the first time she sees a family interact to her infatuation with song and dance. Music was repeated numerous times throughout the film, each time tying in nicely to this coming of age idea. There was numerous times where Hanna was oblivious to simple things we all take for granted, such as coffee pots, the flicking on and off of lights and just the way people interact with one another. Naivety on Hanna's part was another thread in this theme, thinking that a man she met was one of the brothers grimm, of who she read stories by. But through the story you can tell and see that she was growing up and becoming more and more acclimated, and would continue on this path long after the credits roll.
Adapt or die is listed on the poster and is another theme weaved throughout the film. I feel going into detail on this idea could spoil the film for some, and therefore I leave it at that. But I will say this concept of adaptation is integral to not only her survival, but also her adjustment and growth as she comes of age.
For some more detailed reviews of Hanna, please check out Rottentomatoes.com, Hollywoodreporter.com and Criticapproved.com to name a few. Additional information and trailers can be found at these sites as well as imdb.com.
Let me know what you think about this movie or any other you've seen lately.