Saoirse Ronan Makes Hanna Shine Bright

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The way Hanna was marketed, most people would think they’re going to see a female Jason Bourne but they’ll quickly surprised that they’re getting more of an adult fairy tale in Joe Wright’s interesting take on what could easily be a new Snow White movie. Joe Wright is definitely wanting to show Hollywood that he does more than just great films like Pride and Prejudice and Atonement; he wants to show that he can do stylish action thrillers with a bit of though behind them. This combination is what sometimes brings Hanna down in energy.

In Hanna, the amazing Saoirse Ronan stars as the daughter of a CIA op, raised to be the perfect fierce and rather feral warrior, who’s unexpectedly forced to cope with a world she doesn’t know and a lethal female adversary (Cate Blanchett) from her father’s (Erik Bana) past. Right from the start of the film, you are left think Brothers Grimm with the feel and coolness of the bleak setting. In this opening we quickly learn what makes Hanna tick, or at least who trained her to tick. Raised in the frigid forests of Finland, where she’s taught by her macho dad Erik to hunt reindeer with a bow and arrow, speak several languages, memorize the encyclopedia and match her old man in self-defense skills, Hanna, at 16, has reached the point of self-sufficiency where, like an animal, she’s kicked out of the nest.

While she’s out in the wild alone is where she is abducted by CIA agent Marissa Wiegler (Blanchett playing this role superbly), and we quickly learn that this big bad wolf with the soothing Texas drawl when needed, knows everything that makes this girl work. We’re left wondering if they are mother and daughter as they definitely resemble each other, and it’s obvious that Hanna will be taking over Wiegler’s thrown if left alive. Once Hanna escapes from this she-wolf’s lair, the chase scenes start, and it reminded me of that German indie film from the 90′s Run Lola Run.

Wright builds some great suspense scenes, but after a while, it starts to feel like everything was storyboarded to a t without allowing the actors to make any choices of their own with the roles. Cate Blanchett is amazing as a very strong woman who knew years ago this would be her place in the world, but yet something is still missing, so force is the answer. Bana plays dad who’s only care is for his daughter and Saorise Ronan can never do any wrong so with a cast like this, many place in the film feel like they’re trying to catch your attention without allowing you to discover it for yourself.

Seth Lockhead and David Farr have written a compelling tale that makes us demand to know what Hanna’s origins are, but we also want a payoff with all the fairytale droppings along the way which culminates in an old decaying amusement part straight out of a Brothers Grimm tale, with Blanchett bringing on the Big Bad Wolf.

The Chemical Brothers soundtrack is a nice touch, but it also feels like more attention getting rather than just working with the scenes like a great soundtrack does. Thankfully, Ronan creates such a compelling character you won’t even notice that distraction.


Source by W. C. Johnson

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