Friday, 1 July 2011

Reflective Review: Hanna

Rating: 12A
Runtime: 111 min

It's been a few months since I saw Hanna. The trailer hints at an alternative, modern day, fairytale movie with a twist; an indie inspired genre blend; a film that promises to be a breath of fresh air from mainstream monotony.

Hanna is the story of a young girl (Saoirse Ronan) who, conditioned by father Erik (Eric Bana), is molded into a deadly weapon; a survivalist; a perfect assassin. Subsequently the pair are hunted by Government suit, Melissa (Cate Blanchett), after locating their whereabouts after years in hiding. Cue a cat-and-mouse chase across the landscapes of Europe as Hanna experiences a new world she's been hidden away from.

Brit director, Joe Wright, removes the gloss leaving us with a gritty tale that evokes genuine sympathy towards Hanna's plight. He infuses simple, yet stunning, imagery with a coming of age story. It's refreshing from the norm, which gives it added appeal. From the coldest depths of Finland to the African market towns of Morocco, Hanna resonates as a stylistic and beautiful film. The contrast of locales certainly give a sense of variation and enrich the experience as a classically epic adventure.

However, the story itself is a vague and slow moving tale of desire for normality and, ultimately, freedom. Contrary to expectations Hanna proves to be a slow burner, with little tension aside from the occasional high octane sequence. Blanchett and her hired help amount to little more than a disorganised gang swaggering round like they own the place. Hitman, Isaacs (Tom Hollander), pulls off crazy and sadistic, yet doesn't quite exude genuine fear whilst donning his Sergio Tacchini tracksuit.

Ronan, famed for her role in The Lovely Bones, shines as the film's main attraction. Her character is a continuous focus as she handles her responsibilities superbly. A dynamic and progressive protagonist is contrasted by a one dimensional, miscast Blanchett. Underused throughout, her role is typified by another suspect accent (not as bad as her abysmal Indiana Jones effort, mind) as we are presented with an inconsistent villain who poses no clear danger or motive. What's more, the lack of back story prevents the plot from being contextualised. I wasn't expecting to be spoon fed, but did anticipate some clarity.

More road movie than full-on thriller, the visual delights go hand-in-hand with its simplistic, yet effective style. It renders Hanna a pleasant indie experience with plenty of promise from the talented Wright and a bright future for rising star, Saoirse Ronan.

Sources : Internet Movie Database
Images : Google Images