Monday, October 10, 2011

Hanna

By Sati. Monday, October 10, 2011 , , , , , , ,
(111 min, 2011)
Director: Joe Wright
Writers: Seth Lochhead (screenplay), David Farr (screenplay)
Stars: Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett and Eric Bana

 
The princess and the wolf.

A 16-year-old Hanna (Saoirse Ronan) who was raised by her father (Eric Bana) to be the perfect assassin is dispatched on a mission across Europe, tracked by a ruthless intelligence agent (Cate Blanchett) and her operatives.

Joe Wright is quickly becoming one of my favorite directors – he made splendid “Atonement”, very good “Pride and Prejudice” and now his unique style shines in “Hanna” - blend of classic fairy tale and modern action thriller. The movie has countless allusions to brothers Grimm' fairy tales and it circles around Hanna, girl who is on a quest to track down her mother's kiler – Marissa.

Hanna has been kept from people and civilization for her entire life by her father, who trained her, taught her and raised her after her mother was killed. Hanna spent her days in wilderness, ruthless cold, surrounded by nature. The movie shows us Hanna as she hunts the deer, in the opening sequence. When Hanna shoots it with the arrow she says “I just missed your heart” showing sadness for not letting the animal die quickly. Hanna's kindness is also shown when she plays with animals and when she takes care of her father. She embodies both the child and ruthless killer. Hanna is played by amazing Saoirse Ronan, who always shines on screen – her unusual beauty – long blonde her and big blue eyes fit with our perception of fairytale princess. But Hanna can kill – quickly, mercilessly, without guilt, without hesitation.
On her trip through various countries Hanna befriends spoiled girl her age, Sophie. Sophie teaches her the way of ordinary world and Hanna fascinates her with her mysterious attitude. In a superb sequence in the container park, where men sent to get Hanna try to kill her, Sophie follows her and witnesses Hanna fighting them all at once, with almost superhuman skills. When Hanna notices her she jumps in front of Sophie, like a lioness protecting her young. The juxtaposition of Ronan's looks with her dangerous and deadly skills creates amazing impression throughout the film.

Hanna also connects with Sophie's family and through interactions with them we can see that her father taught her only how to live as a highly trained soldier – she knows many languages, she knows how to use and even create a weapon, but she has absolutely no idea how to talk to people. She amazes everyone with her answers and her brutal honesty. But there is also innocence in her – she talks to Sophie as regular people talk to their friends – she tells her about her worries and shares her thought with the girl, who is so different from her. Hanna, isolated for 16 years opens up to someone at last and learns there are more ways to live than just the one she was told about.

Marissa is played by Cate Blanchett, one of the best actresses working today with a lot of dedication - she reminded me of Tilda Swinton in “Michael Clayton” with her cold gaze and her way of doing anything in order to survive. The movie portrays Marissa as the bad wolf – showing us as she obsessively takes care of her teeth, brushing them until the gums start bleeding. Eric Bana has one of the most memorable moments in the film – the amazing fight sequence, astonishing both in execution and choreography. The actors do terrific job in their respective roles but its Ronan who steals the show from everyone.

Wright who made very subtle movies yet again impresses with this film – delicate cinematography, beautiful shots of Hanna getting to understand the outside world and fantastic editing, particularity in action scenes and the sequence where Hanna discovers TV for the first time. The whole story is aided by Chemical Brothers' score, which energizes the scenes and smuggles few bizarre, fairy tale notes to illustrate the overall mood of the movie. As with “Atonement” many things aren't spelled out to the viewer. You have to find the answers yourself, with the clues hidden somewhere in richly composed frames.
Watching “Hanna” was like experiencing the refreshing mixture of genres, as if female version of Jason Bourne was a character in Grimm's fairy tale. Wright continues to deliver and I cannot wait to see what he does with new version of “Anna Karenina”.

93/100

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