Joe Wright (Atonement, Pride and Prejudice) crafts a high energy chase
thriller with ‘Hanna,’ about a teenage assassin(Saoirse Ronan) whose
exposure to the real world, as opposed to the wilds of Finland where
she lived with her ex-CIA operative father, Erik (Eric Bana), catapults
her into a piquant and strange intrigue involving a C.I.A. operative
named Marissa Wiegler (played with menacing flamboyance by Cate
Blanchett). From this point on the narrative embarks into a fairy
tale flourish with Marisa settting her henchmen
on Hanna, who pursues Marissa in turn.
Hanna is somewhere between 12 and 15 and has all the
skills required to succeed in real life combat situations, trained
meticulously as she is by her father during their years in hibernation.
The movie opens with Hanna tracking and striking down a deer with a bow
and arrow. She is seen running fast and faster yet pursuing her target
with consummate ease and then finally taking it’s life with a gun. The
sequence probably signifies her readiness to come out of the shadow
world in which she and her father exist. Once she breaks away from her
father she has to face Marisa and unravel the mystery of her strange
existence. The screenplay by Seth Lockhead and David Farr incorporates
clichéd sequences from several action movies but that
doesn’t take anything away from the integral story of Hanna’s
transformation in the real world where her knowledge and intelligence
allow her the experience to tackle trouble head-on. The entire scenario
is a bit odd and off-kilter but it is interestingly driven.
But the cat and mouse game between Marisa and Hanna doesn’t end in
great fireworks as expected.
The end-game in fact appears too feeble and weak in comparison to what
transpired before it. Hanna’s love for her father despite their
separation is quite tangible. The narrative brings out the emotions and
the derived action is also high-end. Eric Bana and Cate Blanchett
essay their roles with finesse but the characters they play are thinly
modeled . Saoirse Ronan imbues Hanna with a spirited emotional and
moral fibre that helps take the narrative beyond the mere commonplace.
The fight sequences are fantastic, the narrative spiel is intense and
absorbing , the music by Chemical brothers lends adds to the intense
involvement and the cinematography showcases the
exhilarating to great effect. The only problem here is
believability of the central conceit itself. Hanna appears too young to
be able to do all the things she is made to do in the story and that
makes the whole experience a tad wanting!
Rating: * * *