Films | HANNA – Movie Review

HANNA – Movie Review

Posted by FATEMA H.KAGALWALA on June 3, 2011 | No Comments

PRODUCER – Marty Adelstein, Leslie Holleran, Scott Nemes
DIRECTOR – Joe Wright
WRITER – Seth Lochhead, David Farr
CAST – Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana, Cate Blanchett
MUSIC – Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons (as The Chemical Brothers)

Hanna (Saoirse Ronan) is a teen who fights well, ruthless to her opponents, a store-house of knowledge and on a mission to kill Marissa (Cate Blanchett). Marissa and Eric, Hanna’s father (Eric Bana) are rogue spies and have unfinished business left to be done. Hanna wants to finish that business now.

When we meet Hanna she is a protected child in the snows of Eastern Europe, brought up away from civilisation so much so that she knows music only from its definition. As the movie continues Hanna learns a little more of the ways of the world but the stakes get higher when the hunter becomes hunted. Does she accomplish her mission?

The film is a thriller and tells Hanna’s story with backhanded strokes. It balances vignettes of slow-moving experience as well as fast-paced action. It takes us with Hanna into the world of a novice who is a stranger to these experiences. To see a fifteen year old who defends herself like a pro and kills with stunning coldness fumbling in social situations is interesting. But the film does not make a point of it. It is a grim world where humour does not have much place. So Hanna’s first tryst with the modern world is almost traumatic and rightly so.

The film is largely the chase where Eric and Marissa are looking for each other and Marissa’s goons are chasing Hanna while she runs to save her life. While it is a tepid and largely predictable chase that even gets convenient at times, the world it creates is its own and original. If not for the pace it is an experience to immerse in the world it creates.

If not for the unimaginative plot the film could have been memorable. The set-up is fantastic and locales exotic. Hanna takes us with her from the snowy mountains of Eastern Europe to Morocco and Germany. She also acquaints us with local Arabic hospitality and a quirky British family. But the film lies in its hunt and that unfortunately, is mechanical, cliché and largely convenient. The plot twists, complicates and resolves itself without logic or chance threading the events. Portions of information are left unexplained giving the movie a rather tacky premise than the solid foundation it intended.

Talent like Cate Blanchett and Eric Bana seem undermined in this well-mounted but badly scripted film. Cate delivers an intense and controlled performance bottling venom, frustration and anger in her largely scowling persona. Yet it becomes uni-dimensional as the film pans out and her role refuses to rise up from that of a formidable opponent leaving out the whys and wherefores of her character. While Eric has little to do in the film Hanna delivers her role with equal parts grit and vulnerability and it is largely this charm that carries the movie ahead.

The music of the film is worth mentioning with its edgy beats and contemporary tunes. Despite the authenticity of its settings and the consistency of its tone the film refuses to become a visceral experience neither it is an intellectual ride. With the ‘thriller’ experience missing, the film comes to a naught and that is probably saying it all.

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