If you happened to catch last year’s Dogtooth you understand what kind of affect raising a child in an extremely sheltered way can have. Director Joe Wright’snewest film Hanna is a movie that looks at this aspect but takes it in another direction, think more James Bond and less psychotic brainwashing. Saoirse Ronan plays Hanna, a teenager who grew up in a Finland forest along with her father Erik, played by Eric Bana. Hanna is taught to hunt, to survive on her own, and try to appear to be a normal 16-year-old to whomever she may run into, no matter what language they speak. The two aren’t living in the forest hunting wild game because they enjoy the taste of reindeer. Erik and Hanna are in training, training for an inevitable showdown with CIA agent Marissa played by Cate Blanchett. An electronic beacon is eventually triggered that tells the CIA where the two are hiding and the hunt is on. But who’s hunting who here?
Hanna is a film that seems to have split personalities. On one hand it’s a smart spy thriller, the trailer makes it look similar to a Bourne movie, but with a female lead and a Chemical Bros soundtrack. On the other it’s a well-shot, slow-paced, almost artistic film that wants to explore the affects of raising a child outside of any type of society. The duel identity in this film isn’t such a bad idea, it works just fine. I enjoyed that it was a thought-provoking and well-made film. My issue is that we just aren’t given anything or anyone to care about in the story. The film gives us hints as to what is going on, we get that there’s Erik, who can swim well, Marissa, an American CIA agent who is going after him for some reason, and Hanna who is to meet Erik in Berlin (we aren’t told why). We are left to figure out what is going on. The whole story rests on finding out why Hanna was trained the way she was, so up until that point you aren’t really sure why Marissa is going after Erik except that something happened between them in the past.
Archery=Awesome. Creepy Looking Kid With Bow and Arrow=Duck and Cover.
Along the way Hanna runs into a family on a traveling holiday. She befriends a girl her own age and decides to hitch a ride, unfortunately for them they get caught up in the chase as well. The bulk of this film involves chase, Marissa is chasing Erik and Marisa’s henchmen are chasing Hanna. But without much reason as to why these people are chasing each other I just didn’t care. So when it came time for the big reveal I thought, “Ok time to find out what the heck is going on here, maybe something interesting happened with the CIA and Erik in the past.” They explained the situation and I thought “Yep, that’s a logical explanation for their actions.” If you’re looking for a Jason Bourne type film then you’ll be disappointed with Hanna. This film is a tough sell for mainstream folks but will be enough to satisfy film buffs out there, even though the story is a bit lacking in-depth. I’m conflicted, I didn’t hate it and I didn’t love it. I wanted more of a back-story, but I loved the cinematography and the idea behind the film and it’s certainly better than what else was released this weekend.