Friday, June 14, 2013

"Hanna" (2011)

It is a story that has been told before, many, many times. It is even presented in the traditional way, albeit with a modern take. “Hanna” is a fairy-tale about the dangers and horrors of growing up and leaving home. As a film it is beautiful, visually interesting, and excellently made. As a story it lacks a certain spirit. However, that may be because it really is just a fairy tale a la Grimm.

Hanna is a 15 year old who has been raised by her father in the arctic regions with a singularity of purpose. Her whole life has been preparation for the time when she will leave home and face the world, as well as a mission that will ensure her future. There is a woman in the world who will try to kill her if she ever finds out Hanna is alive. (Here is the point where one asks, why not train or simply BE someone else?) If Hanna ever wants to grow up and live a “normal” life, she will have to kill this wicked witch/big bad wolf first.

The only problem is that, with all the preparation for what must be done, Hanna is never taught the sort of skills she will need later on—how to live in the world. It is a classic case of prepare-your-kid-for-evil-at-the-expense-of-preparing-her-for-good. Sure enough, Hanna leaves home, fulfills her mission (she thinks), and then realizes she is wholly unprepared for the rest of her life.

As a movie “Hanna” is good enough, as a message it is OK, but just as Hanna was insufficient and missing something vital, this film is lacking enough to be considered great.

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