Reviews

Hanna

Holleran Company

Mark Haddon

A woozy mix of hard-as-nails actioner and modern-day fairytale, there are times when this surreal trek across Europe feel as if Hans Christian Andersen has rewritten The Bourne Identity.

James Mottram, totalfilm.com

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I'm not really sure where to start in my review of 'Hanna', it was a rather bizarre film really.  However, this is not a bad thing; in fact I think it is a very good film.  The trailer is a fairly apt high-level summary of the film: a story of a tough young girl, capable of killing anything and anyone, who has a rather confused life.  It is, as one might expect, fairly violent.  Having seen that, I didn't dealve much deeper for fear I might be put off!  I'm glad I wasn't.

The plot is very unclear to begin with: Hanna (played by Saoirse Ronan) is a young girl living close to the arctic circle with her father Erik (Eric Bana).  They live a simple life yet Hanna is, at I suspect about 16 years old, a trained killer of an elite standard.  When we arrive, their life is about to unravel as Erik lets Hanna 'reveal' whereabouts now that she is ready to take on those who will never cease to pursue her.

From there, I won't reveal what happens in any detail for fear of ruining the story.  However, what follows is not all violent.  Having spent so much of her life, we see Hanna introduced to the diverse and vibrant delights of the world.  You see her amazing intelligence shine through in her interaction with the world and the people she meets.

The casting of the film has been questioned by some.  However, I think the characters are all very well suited.  Cate Blanchett gives another strong performance as the eerie Marissa.  Tom Hollander supports her very well as her insane and nasty side-kick Isaacs.  But the strongest performances by far are from Ronan and Bana, with Ronan in particular bringing Hanna to life as someone rather disjoint from the world yet oddly easy to emphathise with.  Not one to usually really notice the film work, I also enjoyed some of the shots and camera angles used throughout. The plot was also well supplemented by the soundtrack, by non-other than the Chemical Brothers.

What I liked most about this film was the fact that, throughout it all, Hanna uses more than her physical abilities to get her through.  As Erik repeatedly tells her, 'adapt or die' and she does not just use this to mean physically.  Hanna grows as she moves through the real world and makes choices about how she wants to use the skills she has been given.  A real reminder that it's not what we have, but it's how we use it.

 

 

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Reviewed on 15/05/2011 by Angela

 

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