Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Hanna: On a My Chemical Romance overload
Hanna starts off, quiet, in the arctic wilderness. The sound of footsteps on the snow fills the screen with its crunching sound, and it's a lovely place to start. From there we'll eventually find our way into the desert then the city where it gets louder and louder, and busier and busier.
Saoirse Ronan plays Hanna, a mysterious young girl who was raised in the forest by her father, Eric Bana, and raised to be a fighting machine. The film is fairly layered and has a nice mystery to it. It has tense moments that build up to a final showdown with the diabolical and stunningly beautiful Marissa Viegler, played by Cate Blanchett.
I was surprised to find myself laughing quite a bit throughout the film, and that's a good thing because the laughter came from natural and sincere moments in the film. Hanna is a fish out of water and she experiences the real world for the first time. Watching her deal with electricity, and social outings (boys on scooters), and making a friend, Sophie, played by Jessica Barden with much delight (a major highlight of the film is her performance) is fun to watch because Saoirse is wonderful in the role. All of these new discoveries happen while she's being pursued by Marissa's henchmen (so villainous that they are quite funny as well, especially Tom Hollander's Sebastian in his polyester brightly coloured track suits)
I will have to note that the biggest problem with the film (I have a minor quibble with some of the backstory) is the music and editing. The film, I think, tries to channel run lola, run much too much. The music, by My Chemical Romance, is too distracting, and fiercely overplayed and too loud and along with the frantic editing style, it feels like a very long music video. Overall, the music was a major distraction and takes away from the experience.
But for overall story telling and performances (which really make the film) I give it a B+. It's a good time at the movies. And the writer, Seth Lochhead, is a first time screenwriter, and Canadian.