Friday, April 22, 2011
It's in cinemas right now, but it's not getting too much notice. I saw it and liked it a lot. It's Hanna, directed by Joe Wright.
It borrows elements (consciously or unconsciously) from Run Lola Run and Le Femme Nikita, so it feels very European. It also feels like a Hong Kong film shot outside Hong Kong. Fans will know what I mean. It has an intensity and coldness to it that separates it from its brethren. Its quieter moments reminded me of the recent The American.
Saoirse Ronan, a seventeen-year-old, who was probably just sweet sixteen when she starred in this, is fuckin' amazing as a mysterious girl who is trained to kill (by Eric Bana) for an inevitable confrontation in her future.
The film begins pretty much when that future arrives.
This things moves like a bullet, but never feels superficial or rushed. The score by The Chemical Brothers represents a truly fresh choice on director Wright's part. Although some (only some) of the editing was a little too MTV for me, the experience of watching this was extremely immersive.
If there were any false notes in this, I'd have to say Cate Blanchett. Her performance as Hanna's primary enemy is strangely impenetrable and one-note.
I love art that is not overly precious about portraying children as innocent cherubs. In reality, children, like adults, can be angels and monsters. They possess an arsenal of personality traits, and are much more capable than adults care to acknowledge. They mightn't foresee the many consequences of their actions, but they also don't overinflate them. A benefit of inexperience mixed with fearlessness. Those qualities endear us to 'Hanna'.
I reckon if this were a foreign language flick, critics and international audiences would be all over it.
See this in a cinema before it closes so it can bleed and writhe all over you.