This is a good movie year, for me.
At the very least, I find myself fortunate that, for all the things that may be happening this year, I find islands of escape in new movies that touch, amuse, awe or excite me. Yay, world!
Hanna is one such movie. It feels like a fairytale, with action movie elements. Plus one dash of music video-ness, and a pinch of Stanley Kubrick’s Clockwork Orange. (The official movie site isn’t too bad either.)
Saoirse Ronan might be key to the magical feeling though. Her face is just so..otherwordli-ly (what an awkward word) beautiful in this movie.
Of course, I’m not sure if the movie is perfect; I was too immersed in it to care about whether the plot had holes in it. Although I do know that I winced whenever Cate Blanchett’s inconsistently present Southern accent resurfaced after fading away.
I’m a sucker for movies where young girls train and devote their lives to an ideal, usually an aggressively physical one. I think I love seeing the passion for craft and dedication. The single-mindedness intermingled with a yearning for an outside life, while coldly focusing on strength-building. Yes – big, abstract words.
I just really like it. The opening scenes that set-up her skills. Wow. I love the part where she arrives home, and is kind of sullen, but Erik quizzes her on the different languages she’s supposed to know.
I also love how the movie showcases some of the richest “street” culture in the world. In fact, it never really showcases “glossy” city exteriors. And I think that’s just great. You have Morocco, Spain, Berlin – all focusing on back streets and fringe or mass culture. Raw flamenco dance, dingy Moroccan inns, trailer parks, graffiti-ed up walls. It was like a slice of the world through Hanna’s eyes.
I also like how the action sequences, though few, aren’t fancy-schmancy ones. They’re just brawls or knife fights that are straightforward.
And, how can I forget, Hanna’s escape from detention. Wow. I loved that. From the psych questioning, to her jumping into nooks and crannies in the blinking-light tube. Seemed like an MTV, yes, but it had powerful visuals, and well, I guess that kind of running-like-hell-and-successfully-finding-a-way-out craftily is part of every little girl’s dream adventure (Unless, that’s just me.)
I just find the movie beautiful. Not in a deep “look into the human condition” plot sense, but in a “wow, this looks good and makes me feel nice…” sense. Inception can draw you in with its twisted fantasies, but Hanna is quiet, like a fairytale. It’s an action flick for chicks, if there ever was one (others in that list might be Fast Five, and Hitman – and this one is the prettiest of the bunch). There’s no sex, no grand explosions. Just a chase. And lost-ness, and sadness and cunning. Tumblr-meets-grappling for the emo girl set. I am going to get myself a copy, for nights when I want to relive her training and adventure.
Also, kudos to Shrine to Actors for a great review of Hanna!