Mischa and Hannibal, baby brother and sister, are inseparable; it is their love for each other that ties their bond. Their companionship is forever binding, until, with their family, while hiding from the Nazi war machine a twisted set of circumstance sets the pace for a most vicious attack on the future of one Hannibal Lecter for the sworn vengeance for the brutal killing of his baby sister. Years later, we find Hannibal, the teenager, setting up in Paris, and living with his aunt Lady Murasaki Shikibu and studying at medical school here he finds his forte. Still searching for his sister's murderers, still bitter and still ever hopeful of satisfying his desire for retribution. This chance arrives, and soon we are to learn that for a pound of flesh lost a pound of flesh must be repaid. This is the horrific tale of justice and honor, a young man's growing pains that will have the guilty paying with more than just flesh and bone. This is the up and rising tale of the young Hannibal, ... Written by
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Hannibal Rising The intolerable and at times deadly Hannibal Rising is a complete bore fest. Peter Webber, director of Girl with a Pearl Earring takes a bite (no pun intended) into one of the most villainous and ferocious masterminds of contemporary cinema, Hannibal Lecter.
The film is a prequel to Oscar winner, The Silence of the Lambs and the unknown Manhunter which is also a prequel to the Oscar winner. During the past 20 years, this viewer has seen two interpretations of Dr. Hannibal Lecter; one played by Brian Cox and the other, which is obviously the more popular one played by Academy Award winner Anthony Hopkins. Nothing compares to the atrocity played here by Gaspard Ulliel known for his lukewarm portrayal as the vanished soldier in A Very Long Engagement.
The film starts with Young Hannibal in his formative years during World War II and his transformation, if that's even the word, into a brutal serial cannibal killer. The film can never gain any traction to engulf the viewer and has no "meat" to satisfy any cinema hunger. The film flips in and out of two time periods and loses all chance of a decent picture. The screenplay by Thomas Harris who wrote the Hannibal Lecter series loses all vision of his character and turns him into a winy and pugnacious young boy. He includes the most horrible love story which has no way of enchanting any couple and includes a few chase scenes and terrible stipulation of who and what Hannibal Lecter truly is.
Ulliel cannot grasp the character rather attempts a Anthony Hopkins impression and seemingly fails on many levels to bring a new Hannibal to life. Gong Li known for her stunning and Oscar snubbed portrayal of "Hatsumomo" in Memoirs of a Geisha gets brought into a world where she should of burned the script at first glance. The only entertaining aspect of the film is some pretty decent cinematography by Ben Davis and an above average performance by Dominic West who breathes some fresh air from time to time but we're still left suffocating.
A rental for a Thursday night might be in order if you have nothing to do and have postponed your suicide for the weekend. Other than that, leave the film on the shelf and try playing some "Pictionary" or a nice game of "Kerplunk"; Hannibal Rising rises no where.
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