Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hanna -- 2011


Directed  by: Joe Wright

There weren’t many brilliant films produced this year. All season, Jesse and I have waited for the story that would capture our attention. There were only a couple that made us step back and say, “That was amazing.” Hanna was one of them.

It is Finland in the late Fall. The snow is thick on the ground and filtering down through the trees. We see a lone reindeer foraging for moss or whatever he can find. Then we see Hanna. Her pale face is wrapped against the cold. All we see are her eyes, wary, watchful, calm. For an instant, she is there, another instant, gone. The deer raises its head and smells the air. Suddenly, Hanna steps from behind her cover and her arrow flies true. The animal leaps into the air and runs, trying to escape its fate and the agony ripping at him from his insides.
Hannah follows swiftly, silently; her lithe body just a shadow through the snow as she keeps on his trail. Her aim had been good so it is not long before she has caught him. She circles his body, now lying helplessly in an open meadow, his eyes dully following her movements. She pulls out a gun, aims and remarks quietly, “I just missed your heart.”

Her hands and arms are soon bloody as she guts the carcass and makes ready for bringing the meat back home. The daylight will soon be waning and in the bitter cold of the year’s lateness, she does not want to be caught away from home in the dusk.
“You’re dead.” 
The male voice comes calmly from behind her, no hint of rebuke, just fact. Hanna leaps to her feet and spins around, knife slashing at the figure. He easily overcomes her and lands  her on her back. He turns and leaves her, lying spread eagle beside the reindeer carcass.
Hanna has been trained for one purpose alone: assassin. Since the age of two years, she has been stretched beyond her endurance, taught fighting and self preservation skills. Being an assassin is like breathing for Hanna. But it isn't enough. She wants the outside world. She longs for the sights, people and music. Not only that. Now, at the age of 16 she deems herself ready for her first assignment. 
So, let the games begin. It is a fight to the death. 
What I liked:
1: The story was told well. There is mystery, action and well developed characters.
2: The filming was very stylized. The uniqueness was a tribute to Hanna’s character and her life.
3: There was an interesting reference to God and spirituality that leaves the viewer asking questions about their own beliefs.
4: There was realism to the tale. Erik tried to prepare Hanna for the outside world. He was partly victorious. But he could not fully know or predict what was going to happen, therefore could not prepare her enough. Hanna’s secluded upbringing and inexperienced youth are portrayed very well on screen.
5: This film draws the viewer into it. You feel Hanna’s pain and joy… her exploration and unknowing selfishness. You feel the horror and fear or resigned realizations of the victims. You feel Marissa’s triumph and frustration and puzzlement. You feel the love Erik has for Hanna.

6: The purpose of Hanna is on several levels, I believe. Sometimes, we take forgranted the comforts of our lifestyles. We become trapped in boxes of our own making. We forget there is a bigger world. 

7: I loved the humor. It popped up in the most unexpected places. 

Things To Be Aware Of: 
1: Some language. 
2: One scene of sensuality and implied nudity.
3: Disturbing scenes of violence and worse, scenes of implied violence. 


Rissi said...

This movie has me curious, but it is not one that I'm all that anxious to rent. It looks interesting but also like it's "meaning"(moral compass) might be... misguided.

The actors are strong performers though, and Eric Bana has surprised me in past roles.

The Ponderer said...

From a creative point of view, this film is eye candy. Story was well told, filmography was amazing, etc.

As far as morality is concerned, I cannot judge either way. Ideally, Hanna would have never been placed in the position she was. But we do not live in an ideal world. We live in a world where innocents are experimented on or killed and evil sometimes reins. As I get older, the world grows less black and white for me. The only thing I know for sure is God's love for me and His entire creation.

It is a difficult film to watch but I am glad for the experience.

Jay said...

Only 7 years late to the party... just watched the film and enjoyed your comments and assessment. I'm wondering which parts of the movie you found to be humorous.