CLOSE UP: On Hanna’s fierce blue eyes.
Roll Credits


“WHOA. That was intense!”  That was the first thing I whispered to my friend when the movie was over. Hanna is everything you could ask for in a movie. Almost. It was creatively shot, with memorable and quirky characters (ala Kill Bill), and the acting was phenomenal, mostly, in part, due to Saoirse Ronan and her freaky, expressive blue eyes.


Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Eric Banna, Cate Blancett

Hanna is about young girl (Ronan) who’s been training with her father (a handsome Eric Bana) in frozen isolation, cut off from the world. Finally when she’s “ready”, Hanna is released into the real world with one sole purpose to assassinate the woman who murdered her mother.

This film was beautifully filmed. From the incredible, icy Finland landscapes, to the artistic close-ups of two girls forming a friendship, I can’t help but admire cinematographer, Alwin H. Kuchler. His shots were very composed, and there was this incredible tracking shot at a loading dock that still haunts my mind—especially with the whistling from one of the characters, which we’ll get too in a sec. Kuchler is a genius – I mean just look at the movie Sunshine – his cinematography was definitely its own character in the movie.

The movie was also completely intense. Director Joe Wright was able to build up anticipation really well, and also startle me in unexpected places. I think, in part, the theater had the movie cranked up REAL loud. Every gunshot, broken bone, slice of flesh could be heard probably four theaters over. The walls and seats literally vibrated with every crunch.

However, I can’t help but compare certain aspects of this movie to Kill Bill. From the weird, quirky, maybe over the top characters (one bad guy went a bit heavy on the eye liner), to the bad guy whistling a haunting, yet catchy tune (like in Kill Bill) that went along with the strange, but effective soundtrack. I don’t mean this as a bad thing. I loved Kill Bill and these aspects to Joe Wright’s movie, helped make this movie memorable.

But aside from the cinematography and the soundtrack, what really sold the movie was the talents of Saorise Ronan. Ronan was able to show the vulnerability, innocence, and wonder of a sheltered child, while retaining that bad-ass assassin quality. She has such an incredible, unique look that really helped sell this character. The villans, Cate Blancett and Tom Hollander melded wonderfully with Ronan, but it was really the kids that made this show work. Relatively new-comer Jessica Bardem, who played Sophie, Hanna’s first and only friend, brought life to both this film, as well as the Hanna character. The two girls had fantastic chemistry and their scenes together made me laugh.

In short, go see the film. You won’t be disappointed…unless you hate, exciting, quirky, intense, funny, sweet, creative films. Then, well, I can’t help you at all here.

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5).


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