What movie was that...?

15 April 2011

Hanna

directed by Joe Wright

Finally! Finally a film has premiered this year that isn’t a load of tripe, and boy does it come in one hell of a package. Hanna has enough piss and vinegar to wipe the shitty grin right off Sucker Punch’s shallow, immature face, and thanks to such amazing talents as Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana, Tom Hollander and Cate Blanchett, the film buzzes with an electricity that zaps you to your seat. If only Zack Snyder had cheated off this test sheet during exam time… No matter, because director Joe Wright makes magic of a daring and wonderful script by Seth Lochhead and David Farr about a girl (Ronan) raised in the woods by her ex operative father (Bana), trained to kill or be killed. Add to the already strong brew is the stellar eye of cinematographer Alwin Kuchler, who gives every sequence a special identity. And how about The Chemical Brothers killing it with the best score of the year (Academy, you better be writing this shit down)? The Chemical Brothers manage to fuse the music and the sound design into such a perfect marriage that I often found myself wondering if what I was hearing were merely sound effects for the film or part of the score, and in almost every case it was, in fact, both. It’s fitting that such audiophiles like The Chemical Brothers would excel at illustrating the wondrous, emotive properties of music, as the concept of “music” is a motif that runs throughout the film. In fact, you could have a high noon showdown between Hanna’s dark mutation of in the Hall of the Mountain King and Trent Reznor’s surrealistic nightmare handling of that same piece of music in the rowing sequence of The Social Network. Ronan is a fair and deadly vision as the child of science, raised in a vacuum and loosed upon the world. The story is framed against the backdrop of fairy tales, predominantly Eastern European fairy tales that brim with both violence and candy, family and menace. Behind all of this lurks the taunt, the question of “what does it mean to be normal?” It’s an existential out of body experience, a quest for identity that finds us asking ourselves the same questions internally. Hanna is as badass as all getout, and if you knew what was good for you, this one should shoot straight to the top of your must see list.

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