Sunday, 17 March 2013
“Hanna, what did your mum die of?”
I misjudged this film. It has Eric Bana in it, and, in my experience, films with him in are generally shite! Here, though, his performance is entirely adequate, and the film is bloody good in spite of his presence.
The script is rather good, hinging on the story of the eponymous Hanna, a little girl who is the result of genetic experiments to create the perfect soldier, and who has spent her entire life up until now north of the Arctic Circle. She’s a sort of cross between Heidi and Captain America. All sorts of people are after her, including (in a film which, ironically, stars no Americans) the CIA. Much praise has to go to the performance of Saoirse Ronan, upon which so much depended.
The film is an action thriller with an engaging and exciting directorial style. The action sequences are always in flux; the moving camera is used with great skill and precision to create a sense of pace, movement and realism. The soundtrack, from the Chemical Brothers, is excellent, and compliments the direction perfectly.
The plot is clever, complex, but never over complex. There are some nice twists, there is a great villain who, hilariously, has his own musical score and who is, bizarrely, played by Tom Hollander, everyone’s favourite vicar. There is also a heartwarming yet doomed friendship between Hanna and a rather hippyish British family, the daughter of whom shares a brief but, er, very close friendship with our heroine.
As my very lovely girlfriend pointed out, there seems to be a theme of knowledge from experience versus knowledge from education; Hanna has plenty of the former, and this is what gives her the boost she needs. Her knowledge from education, with no context in the world around her, helps her hardly at all.
The climax is exciting and satisfying, and the final shot aesthetically pleasing. This film is not well known but I certainly recommend it.