Fledgling writer Briony Tallis, as a 13-year-old, irrevocably changes the course of several lives when she accuses her older sister's lover of a crime he did not commit. Based on the British romance novel by Ian McEwan.
Hanna (Ronan) is a teenage girl. Uniquely, she has the strength, the stamina, and the smarts of a soldier; these come from being raised by her father (Bana), an ex-CIA man, in the wilds of Finland. Living a life unlike any other teenager, her upbringing and training have been one and the same, all geared to making her the perfect assassin. The turning point in her adolescence is a sharp one; sent into the world by her father on a mission, Hanna journeys stealthily across Europe while eluding agents dispatched after her by a ruthless intelligence operative with secrets of her own (Blanchett). As she nears her ultimate target, Hanna faces startling revelations about her existence and unexpected questions about her humanity. Written by
Hanna was raised by her father, in isolation, near the Arctic Circle, intensely trained to be an assassin. In a close-up of Hanna she has pierced ears, it is unlikely from her upbringing that she would have this. See more »
Words are spoken during the credits. At the end of the first song: "Music: A combination of sounds with a view to beauty of form and expression of emotion". And after the end credits: "Schlaf weiter" (sleep on). See more »
Hannah is a wholly unexpected, but entirely enjoyable film. However, this is not the all out, balls to the wall action film the trailer might suggest. There is a high art house value to the film, and it takes it's time letting you get to know the characters, most notably the titular character Hannah, as she explores the world for the first time. What we have is the kind of action film that comes around every once in a while that values it's characters, but also demonstrates some great action pieces.
Hannah tells the story of the 16 year old girl who, after living her whole life in the woods, is set upon the world. At the same time, her release into the world sets in motion a man hunt by a CIA agent with her own agenda. I've read many comments comparing this to Kick Ass, and I couldn't figure it out for the life of me. While these two films share loose ingredients, they are wholly different films, with Hannah arguably the superior film.
Beautifully shot and fantastic all the way around, the film elevates itself to art by successfully balancing Bourne-style action and a beautiful coming of age story. Through the film, we see the world as Hannah sees it, with a sense of wonder and beauty, but also a sense of confusion. Sound is used to great effect to depict this as well, and I will be very disappointed if this film doesn't get nominated for every sound award next year. The cast and talent behind the film also help to elevate it above the standard pic. Particularly Joe Wright, who treads into different territory, but nonetheless proves that he is an extremely versatile director. Saoirse Ronan also excels as the lead here, playing up the hardened, but vulnerable character. It's not an easy role to fill the shoes of, with both a physical and emotional demand on the characters, but in Wright's hands, Saoirse nails it.
While the film does have moments of drag here and there, even these moments are filled with something visually or audibly interesting. If it's not the Chemical Brother's fantastic soundtrack or a unique shot here and there, it's the stylish editing and unique focus. I will say that this won't be for everyone. This is not a film that's constant action and it does have an independent quality to it. But for those that take the journey, you'll find a very rewarding film here that succeeds where many action films don't. I'll even go so far as to say that this is my favorite film of 2011 so far.
212 of 376 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?