Saturday, April 30, 2011

Hanna (2011)

When we first meet Hannah (Saoirse Ronan - 'Lovely Bones') she is hunting deer in Siberia with only a bow an arrow. While cleaning her kill she is confronted by a man who engages her in hand to hand combat. He defeats her but just barely. Soon we learn that their relationship is not a normal one between this man and this young girl. They act like father and daughter but all their interactions are about preparation for some think that will happen in the future.

The young girl's life has been spent in training - use of weapons, languages, history and memorized locations have filled her days. On one such day, she tells her father/trainer (Eric Bana) that she is 'ready'. Ready for what we don't know.

The father digs a radio receiver out of the snow and tells Hanna that when she pushes the red button, then people will know where she is and will come for her. Only she will know when that time in right. Of course she pushes the button and hear begins our story.

Her father leaves her because he knows that people who will come looking for Hanna will not allow him to remain alive. He, however is not leaving her to die. He has trained her and given her the skills that will increase her chances to survive what ever happens next.

Enter Cate Blanchett as Marissa, a former 'handler' of the father who we learn was a spy for some shadowy government agency like the CIA. She recognizes the frequency the father allowed to be sent and is intrigue to see what her former 'asset' is up to now. She has no idea there will only be a young girl when her team of agents make their way to Hanna's Siberian home.

Blanchett is intrigued by the young girl and brings her in for psychological study. All Hanna wants to do is speak to Marissa, her father's old boss. When they try to trick Hanna, we find out just how dangerous a person she is as she kills several people to facilitate her escape from the complex in which she is being held.

The soundtrack to the film is fantastic. The club beats and rhythms perfectly mesh with those moments of escape through the unfamiliar environments Anna soon finds herself confronted with. They are as disjointed as Hanna's thought processes must have been as she constantly re-evaluate her plan at ever turn.

We know that whoever Marissa is, she is not a nice person and had something to do with the death of who I assumed to be Hanna's mother. Now she is mobilizing all her resources just to find one teen girl and the father whom she deems a national security risk.

There are some scenes of humor when 'fish out of water' Hanna joins a vacationing family and experiences some trappings of a normal teenage life. But she cannot stop to smell the roses for too long - she is still a fugitive after all and there are questions that she needs the answers too.

This was an exciting movie with a fascinating concept. I got attached to the main character who I both admired and felt sorry for. The secrets about Hanna's past are interesting and all the performances are top notch.

I couldn't help thinking as I was watching that this movie would make an excellent TV series as Hanna must constantly be on the run from the shadowy organization out to reclaim her. But I would need the series to be set in Europe like this movie was.



Debra She Who Seeks said...

It looks good! And if you give it an 8/10 then I'm putting it on my "to see" list. Of course it may still take me a while to get around to it. Last weekend I finally watched Reservoir Dogs, 20 years after it was made. Good movie!

M. D. Jackson said...

I saw the preview for it last time I went to the movies and I thought it looked really really cool. Now I definitely will go see it!

Kal said...

In the hands of another director this could have turned into a revenge flick with an unbeatable assassin in the lead role. By making the character of Hanna just another girl, albiet one with a strange upbringing, the movie succeeds on so many level. It's very European in it's sensibilities and that realism is why the story worked for me.