Wednesday, May 11, 2011
"You didn't prepare me for this..." ~ Hanna
This is the fourth film by Joe Wright who has the masterpiece Pride and Prejudice and the strange but powerful film Atonement under his belt already. He has definite genius potential as he knows how to get great moments from his actors and even greater cinematography from his DP. I remember being left breathless by his majestic shot of Keira Knightley upon the rocks in Derbyshire or the continuous long shot of James McAvoy wandering through war-ravaged France. This guy knows what he’s doing and he knows how to get the most out of his people.
Cinematography is one of the first things I pay attention to in a film being that I am a very visual person, and Hanna does not disappoint. From the moment it opens up, with the snow covered forest of Finland in complete silence, you are immersed. The use of snow and light in the beginning is perfect, because though Hanna is a trained killer and hunter, she is still extremely innocent. The snow symbolizes her purity in that she is smothered by the whiteness and the light amplifies it. Her innocence is crucial in the story because it inevitably fades away. Like his famous long shots like the one mentioned above in Atonement, or the one at the opening of Pride and Prejudice as we travel through the Bennett home, this film did not lack. You get to follow Eric Bana through a subway station fight scene in one continuous shot that will blow your mind with action and artistry. I’m still thinking about that one!
The film is absolutely seamless from scene to scene. It was not only superbly edited, but firmly stitched to its sweet, pumping techno score composed by the Chemical Brothers. Between this film and Tron: Legacy, I’m digging the electronic approach to score. It won’t work for every film, but when it works, its gold. I never felt like I was ever taken out of the film by anything, but each moment pushed me forward to the next.
The film ends openly. There could be more, which would be awesome as much is left unexplained and unanswered in this film and it has the ability to be a really great series or trilogy. In any case, Hanna is a haunting piece of action thriller that tops most of the genre I’ve seen in a very long time.
Posted by Alexis P. Johnson at 10:59 AM