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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sweet Revenge -- HANNA Movie Review

Potato On the Go:

Some people may see revenge movies as ordinary, repetitive and worse waste of time.  Well, I think otherwise, not because I'm an oppositionist by nature, but I somehow always give the benefit of the doubt to the film makers and wait on how they execute a story.  And from what I've been seeing, revenge films are often executed well.  Take for example movies like "Kill Bill", "A Law Abiding Citizen" and to a certain extent even "Dark Knight".

And this new movie, Hanna, is entering the big league of revenge movies.  From Columbia Pictures, Hanna stars Academy Award nominee Saoirse Ronan  as Hanna, Eric Bana (as Hanna's father Erik Heller) and Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett (as CIA officer Marissa Wiegler).  

Hanna narrates the story of a 16 year old girl named Hanna who lived in the wilderness of Finland and was trained by her her father to be a cold-blooded assassin.  But as soon as she said "I'm ready" to her father, she is then led to a series of hunting, killing and revelation of dark secrets.  

Yes, Hanna is a revenge movie, but it is a revenge movie full of excitement, adrenalin rush and visual treat!  Editing is superb, it's fast paced but did not miss every important element of the story.  Most of the scenes are creatively rendered especially in Hanna's detainment and escape scenes from CIA's facility, in the death of the ally of Hanna's father, and in the fight scenes at the container port.  

Cinematography is at its finest as it uses light and framing very well.  Hanna's escape is full of of the play of lights and darkness  while the period when she was still in Finland is a romanticized visualization of her cold early years.  The shots at their house are well framed, as if I am watching scenes in an art film. 

Music and sound do not trail behind as they matches what we are seeing in the film.  Bullet fires sound so real that keeps the audience in surprise and shock scene after scene and music is heart pounding that adds up to the suspense and excitement of the plot.

Art Direction is spectacular, from set, to costume, to make-up and props, everything is well weaved in to show Hanna's journey, the places she went to, the people she met and the shocking things she did!

And acting wise, what else can we expect from three of the finest actors today?  Of course, nothing else but the finest.  Saoirse, despite her role's suppressed personality was able to convey the right emotion making the audience empathic about the Hanna's ordeals.  Eric Bana, his facial expression and delivery of lines, is very much convincing in his role while Cate Blanchett's performance played the mystery and suspense, with her voice matching the character of Marissa.  What I do not like though is Tom Hollander's portrayal of Isaacs, it was just so stereotypical, and done in bad taste.  Film's scene stealer is Jessica Barden who played the role of Hanna's bestfriend Sophie.  Her stint, and animated delivery of lines, squeezed in some laughs that brought the light moments in the movie.

Story wise, Hanna takes on previously used plots where CIA or a government's security agency keeps and shutdowns a top secret  experiment project and eventually kills the subjects and the people behind it.  The producers and director though were able to defy the usual creating a better version of such plot.

With that, I think Hanna is a good watch.  It is a sweet revenge not just against the film's antagonists but also against the traditional mindset on the film's genre. 

From a scale of 1 to 10 claps, I'm giving Hanna an 8 1/2 plus gun fires!  From Columbia Pictures, Hanna opens exclusively in Ayala Cinemas (Glorietta 4 and Greenbelt 3) starting September 28.

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