Hanna (2011) - review

Door Janreviews gepubliceerd op Monday 21 March 11:11

Hanna is a teenage girl who lives with her father in the woods. Their house is completely sequestered from the normal world and her father reads her every day from the encyclopaedia, which results in Hanna knowing many languages and many facts about the outside world she does not actually know. He teaches her to always be alert and ready for a physical confrontation. One day, he presents her with a tracking device, saying that she will be captured and he will have to leave once she switches it on. Eventually, she switches it on and her father leaves her behind. She is imprisoned in an underground facility and manages to escape. But the chase does not end there.

I was interested in this film because I became interested in Saoirse Ronan when she was promoting last year's "Brooklyn". When I learnt that Cate Blanchett and Eric Bana were also in this film, I was determined to watch it. 

The beginning of this film is very promising: we see Hanna shooting a deer with an arrow and consequently chasing it. When it finally drops to the ground, she says "I just missed your heart," and shoots it with a revolver. Using this sequence as the first scene reminded me very much of a Quentin Tarantino film. 

Unfortunately, I cannot say that I liked the rest of the film. We are kept in the dark until the last fifteen minutes about what allows Hanna to be so unnaturally alert and that is a major flaw. That is something "Gone Girl" did not do: halfway through the film, we learnt where the Girl had Gone. That would have benefitted this film.

The moment that made me slap my brow with the palm of my hand the most was when Hanna sets herself at a computer in an internet café and starts using the computer after some awkward hesitation. Then we go through this montage of footage that helps her understand who she is. Can someone explain to me how someone who has never used a computer before and who did not grow up in a society where there are computers everywhere manages to Google what she is? We see her type in 'DNA', because that's what she read on her document in the underground prison, but how will that search help her understand what she is? Wouldn't she just end up on Wikipedia and some dictionaries with some general definitions of DNA?

The villain in this film, Marissa, portrayed by Cate Blanchett, also lacks some character development. All we know is that she is a perfectionist (we learn this by the manner she cleans her teeth), she is determined to find Hanna and her father and what exactly her connection to Hanna is. We are not presented with a scene where she explains her real motivation behind her chasing Hanna and that would've made the film more compelling. Blanchett is a fantastic actress, but even she cannot save this dull character.

Some upsides to this film were the music and the cinematography. The Chemical Brothers provided the score and their style really suits this film. Action films tend to have very shaky camera work in the action sequences, but this was not the case in "Hanna". So you don't have to worry about watching this film if you are prone to motion sickness, you'll be fine. There were only two instances that the photography bothered me: when Hanna is running through the prison, the camera turns clockwise around her face for no reason whatsoever and when she is being chased by Marissa toward the end of the film, there is a completely unnecessary jump scare. That may not be an actual cinematography issue, but the fact that the lighting in the building is blood red didn't help it in any way. 

Would I suggest this film to you? Yes, but I'd warn you that you don't have to expect a masterpiece action film. If it's on television and you do not have anything else to do, I'd suggest you watch it. The film is not worth spending money on though. 

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