I had been looking forward to watching Hanna for some time. At the time it was released it was getting high praise and so seemed to be the most interesting film to be released so far in 2011. Add to the fact it was being compared to Leon the Professional and had a cast of very talented actors, I was very interested. Unfortunately I just felt the movie ended up lacking, being a lot less than it could have been.
The story was interesting and the acting was excellent, it’s just that the story was not fleshed out nearly enough. I think only getting surface details hurt a lot. It was an interesting backstory but I don’t know that it was motivation enough to hide in a cabin in the woods for all her life. I mean…with Heller’s resources would it have been so hard to disappear into society somewhere? Although I wonder what his motivations were to raise the child in the first place as opposed to just dropping the baby off at an orphanage somewhere.
Cate Blanchett’s acting is fine, although her southern accent is a bit much. She never has seemed to pull off accents particularly well. I do think this is one of the better films of this year, although I have yet to see I Saw the Devil. I don’t think it is very much like the professional at all, aside from the fact you have a young girl somewhat paired with an older mentor, but even that is only the beginning of the film so I don’t think it’s really an apt comparison.
The biggest fault I have with the film is Hanna’s learning about the outside world should have been a much bigger ordeal. It is made a point in the cabin to note that she has never heard music, yet the bustling marketplace of somewhere in Morocco doesn’t faze her? I would have thought the family would show her compassion and love and music and all sorts of things, but not really. It’s brushed on very briefly but not really touched on. Instead the movie ends up being somewhat of an ordinary manhunt. There are also a few unanswered questions like what happened to the family and how did the merc track them down in the first place?
Mainly though I wonder where she would go from there. Her only mentor and person she could trust is dead, so she is alone in the world with no resources. She is highly trained and resourceful so I don’t see that as a problem, still I wonder how she would now choose to define herself. It was an interesting premise but as it didn’t emphasize the parts I thought it should, it turned out to just be OK. Before Hanna Joe Wright had only made Pride and Prejudice and Atonement. I think he did a good job of branching away from those types of movies with Hanna and it will be interesting to follow his career, as well as that of Saoirse Ronan.