Thursday, May 26, 2011

Watching Hanna

SPOILER WARNING: if you haven't seen Hanna stop reading now.

I finally made it in to this, having been excited since I saw the trailer in February. Great to see Saoirse Ronan (Ireland) and Cate Blanchett (Australia) starring and running a film together (well, with some input from Eric Bana to be fair). So aside from having two strong female roles with any gratuitous sex - except that strange scene in the camping tent between Ronan's character and her new best friend, what was that about? - was it a good film?
Not quite sure in the end how strong the female roles are as Ronan is completely guided by Bana's character, to the point of not even being sure who she is. Blanchett, although her actions start the sequence of events off, also seems dependent on Bana's decisions. I'm not quite sure if that is how the director meant it to play out.
But from a martial arts perspective, great fight scenes, very well-choreographed and executed especially for the scenes between Ronan and the 'baddies' in the truck-yard.
And definitely set up for a sequel with that lovely circular ending. I enjoyed it a lot more than most films out at the moment, and read a piece on how teenage girls in the States were inspired by watching it.
This is, of course, the slightly sticky ethical point; inspiring or glorification of violence?


Emmet Ryan said...

SPOILER ALERT - Don't read this comment if you haven't seen the movie.

Not sure how strong the female roles are...umm you might need to re-watch it. Ronan's influenced by Bana because he's a father figure/coach but he's clearly Toni to Rafa Nadal not Mourinho to Inter in 2010. She's self-sufficent for the most part and uses the skills she learnt to become better than Bana.

As for Blanchett, I would say the influence of Bana on her is no more than her on Bana. They are rivals, acting against one another. His actions are heavily influenced by what she does. Note her caution early in the film as well, sending in a dummy instead of going in herself as she was aware Hanna may have been a trap laid by Bana.

In both the cases of Blanchett and Ronan's characters they are outmanoeuvring everyone around them for the most part but they still need to build Bana up to have some strength so the viewer knows how powerful an opponent Blanchett is.

We see this well demonstrated in the scene where she has to escape Bana and then subsequently the payoff is when she catches him off guard to kill him.

Of course the super movie nerd in me points out that this created a "you're so fucked" moment, wherein a character does the one thing necessary to guarantee they are totally going to die. Best example of that is in Last of the Mohicans when the final battle is just a one-sided ass-whupping.


niamh said...

@Emmet - umm, let's just agree to disagree. I take all your points but still feel Hanna was manipulated and not exactly told the truth about her mission. Still really enjoyed it though!

Emmet Ryan said...

Well she wasn't told the truth because Bana was obviously aiming for his end goal and there's the whole 'her being a kid' thing which plays into that. Had she been a dude that wouldn't have been any different. I don't have kids but if I ever do I will lie like hell to them if it helps with the end goal. Makes things much easier. Remember also that Bana's end goal was vengeance for Hanna and her mother but he realised that she was capable of doing it, not him.