Sunday, 4 August 2013

Film Review: Hanna

About the film
Hanna is a British/ German action thriller film that was released in the UK on DVD on 29th August 2011. The film is rated 12A and has a run time of 111 minutes.

A teenage Hanna and her father live in the middle of nowhere, Finland. Hanna is unlike other children though as she has been trained her whole life by her ex-CIA father. She is strong, smart, speaks several languages and has incredible stamina. Everything that she has been taught has been in order to make Hanna the perfect assassin and to prepare her for the life she is about to have.

After being sent into the real world on a mission by her father, Hanna quickly realises that she hasn’t had the same kind of upbringing as others her age. Now, she has to stealthily travel across Europe to get to her final destination, fighting off an intelligence operative and her team of henchmen along the way. Over the course of her mission, Hanna faces revelations about herself and questions about who she is.

What I thought
I’ve had this DVD sitting on my ‘to watch’ pile for such a long time now. Seeing Saoirse Ronan recently in The Host made me want to watch Hanna even more and I finally got round to watching it.

The film had me gripped from the very beginning. Hanna and her father are living in the middle of Finland, hunting deer and training extremely hard. Hanna looks quite young so I instantly wondered what the hell was going on and why she was learning how to fight, shoot and speak multiple languages. The life that we see her and her dad living is far from the norm and definitely not in the typical type of location to bring up a child. I really loved how interesting the plot was to begin with. It captures the attention right away and also raises many questions.

To pull off a plot as strong as this, a great lead actor was needed. Playing Hanna is Saoirse Ronan who I hadn’t really heard of until quite recently. However, she is utterly amazing in this film. At the time of release, Ronan was only 17 years old but had already been in a few films. Hanna is a very strange character and very mysterious. Having not grown up in any kind of society, Hanna is distanced from the rest of the world. But, she does know how to hunt, kill and cook a deer and speak several languages… amongst other things. I’m not sure what kind of training Ronan had to do for this film but there was certainly a lot going on for her. Although an unusual character, Ronan makes Hanna likeable. She has had no control over her life or upbringing so it isn’t her fault that she doesn’t understand the outside world. When she leaves her home in Finland, Hanna must deal with real people and real situations, both of which she finds confusing but not scary. It is interesting to see Hanna put into the real world and to watch her realise that she isn’t like everyone else. I also loved seeing Hanna making friends with a young British girl and her family and to try to find things in common with her.

In the supporting cast there are big names such as Eric Bana and Cate Blanchett but unfortunately, both are outshined by Ronan. Bana doesn’t feature as much as he possibly could have as Hanna’s dad and I would have liked to have seen a more emotional relationship between the two. Blanchett on the other hand, has a very large role in this film. She plays Marissa Wiegler, the woman hunting Hanna. Blanchett comes across as very evil over the course of the film and determined to get what she wants, no matter the cost. I find Blanchett to be a great actor in whatever role she takes and this one was no excpetion.

Along with a strong basic plot, there is loads of action throughout. As Hanna races across Europe, she has to fight off those who are chasing her. Although as I said before, I don’t know what kind of training Ronan did for Hanna, she must have done some in the ways of running. She does a lot of running in this film and she appears to be incredibly fit and looks great doing these scenes. Not only does this part of the plot provide some great action scenes, it also provides great scenery. As the film starts in Finland and ends in Germany, there are plenty of places visited in-between. From beautiful snowy forests in Finland to urban Germany, there is always something wonderful to look at.

Hanna is tense, exciting and mysterious at the same time. This is one of the best thriller/ action films I have seen in a while and thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. 

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