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Ridley Scott's Hannibal


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It's one of my 'guilty pleasures' in film. I recently saw this again for the first time in a couple of years. It's probably my fourth full viewing since 2001, and, in my attempts to figure out the puzzle that is 'Hannibal', I've rewatched bits and pieces of it many times.

Why do I say 'Guilty pleasure'? Unlike the excellent 'Silence of the Lambs' (4.5/5), it was critically panned. It confused, repelled, and polarized people. And even I would admit that it was definitely a film that was composed of parts that were stronger than itself as a composite whole.

In retrospect, I believe that- like Ridley Scott's 'Bladerunner'....'Hannibal' was unfairly judged after its release. There was more depth to the film, and one had to study it carefully. But only a minority did.

Anybody up to discussing it? Were you among those that rushed to see it on opening day?

Hannibal 4/5.

http://en.wikipedia..../Hannibal_(film)

"Your job is to craft my doom, so I am not sure how well I should wish you. But I'm sure we'll have a lot of fun."

~Hannibal

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^I adored Hannibal. I mean, I really like The Silence Of The Lambs, and went to see this on the back of it - but for me it eclipsed the first one.

I think it critically suffered because it wasn't the first - thematically or stylistically (unlike the later film Red Dragon which is more akin, of course that book preceded Silence and the two are far more similar story-wise). It's supposed to be different though, it's got a far more comical tack - it's pure Grand Guignol and everybody's in on it. The scenery and settings (particularly Florence) are sumptuous, and the score far more bravura befitting the action.

Also, I much prefer Julianne Moore. Jodie Foster can be a little "affected" as an actress, like you can see her doing it - if that makes any sense - although you appreciate that she's doing it well. Anthony Hopkins is given more to do though, and 'Lecter' is the almost the principal over 'Starling'. Add in opera, Gary Oldman and some pigs and I'm happy!

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post-40981-0-1446061948-98259_thumb.png

I did not know that Mason Verger was Gary Oldman until years later...00

So Mason Verger, the self-effacing, paraplegic former child molester who hanged himself and removed his own face with a piece of broken glass was in fact Gary Oldman in disguise, LOL.

^I adored Hannibal. I mean, I really like The Silence Of The Lambs, and went to see this on the back of it - but for me it eclipsed the first one.

Hannibal is more rewatchable than Silence, that's for sure. Silence is serious, and lacks the playfulness of Hannibal. I re-watched the Lector scenes in Silence, but the rest of the movie is not as worth repeating.

As a thriller, Silence works better as sum-of the parts. I remember being disturbed by it. Hannibal is more disjointed as a film, and there are more loose ends.

I think it critically suffered because it wasn't the first - thematically or stylistically (unlike the later film Red Dragon which is more akin, of course that book preceded Silence and the two are far more similar story-wise). It's supposed to be different though, it's got a far more comical tack - it's pure Grand Guignol and everybody's in on it. The scenery and settings (particularly Florence) are sumptuous, and the score far more bravura befitting the action.

What's Grand Guignol to you?

----

Yes, they're different movies. Silence is about Clarice and Hannibal is about..Hannibal. There's also the time factor:

-Clarice is an idealistic 20-something trainee, a rising star while, in Hannibal, she's a 30-something 'combat' veteran who is getting boxed in by office politics.

-Hannibal is a caged demon in Silence and plotting to get out, but in Hannibal, he's a free man and free to live a 'charmed' life. In his own terms of course. There is a clear difference in temperament. In Silence, Hannibal is strategically working the deal table while in Hannibal, he is living life with his brand of elegance and life-affirmation.

---

So I browsed through the critics reviews circa 2001 and was not impressed. They, as you say, repeatedly referred this film to the first's thriller format, and critiqued it through the old format. That was simply wrong.

Also, I much prefer Julianne Moore. Jodie Foster can be a little "affected" as an actress, like you can see her doing it - if that makes any sense - although you appreciate that she's doing it well. Anthony Hopkins is given more to do though, and 'Lecter' is the almost the principal over 'Starling'. Add in opera, Gary Oldman and some pigs and I'm happy!

I need to re-watch Silence to give you a better answer, but I think both did alright for their respective roles. Julianne Moore as the more mature Clarice and Jodie as the young, starry eyed one.

Out of the 3, Hopkins feels most natural in Hannibal. In Silence, - I love the role, and he's my favorite villain but there are times where he is borderline overacting. The Director shoots very close to his face and some of the turns both Demme and Hopkins make are a bit too much. This Hannibal is elegant but noticeably creepy & forceful.

But in Hannibal..he's exactly as I would imagine him to be. Based on his psychology, of course. Hannibal operates at a higher plane of human consciousness. So for Hannibal, good living, by necessity, must involve the usual (intellectual activity, good food, good wine, ....) plus risky adventure and cannibalizing the periodic human animal in a sublimely creative way. This Hannibal has less of the 'creep' factor of the former and is equipped with more of the 'elegance;. He can blend into the crowds.

Red Dragon was the weakest of the trilogy, and essentially a lesser copy of Silence. The directing was barely adequate, and Hopkins was not in top form as Hannibal. Fiennes was solid. I'd probably rate it a 3.5/5.

And LOL at this:

post-40981-0-71622400-1354221198_thumb.ppost-40981-0-88023200-1354221216_thumb.ppost-40981-0-34001300-1354221205_thumb.p

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What's Grand Guignol to you?

^Grand Guignol has come to mean a kind of overly graphic and melodramatic, yet slyly amusing, bloody horror. The name comes from a Parisien theatre that specialised in this kind of play. The British Hammer studios put out a ton of these films in the '60s and '70s - lots of claret...

Yes, as a taut thriller Silence is superior - but Hannibal was just more enjoyable as a cinematic experience. I suppose you should take them along the same lines as the Alien films: in that they are obviously linked but are very much different takes of the same source material, under different directors, keen to make a different film.

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I suppose that the brain-eating scene and Gary Oldman were 'classic' Grand Guignol?

And also, there's the scene where Lector lectures to a captive audience about Judas and avarice, and then eliminates Pazzi in same way as his ancestor. This was very much pre-orchestrated and I can imagine it being done live in a theater performance. Is this also 'classic GG'?

^Grand Guignol has come to mean a kind of overly graphic and melodramatic, yet slyly amusing, bloody horror. The name comes from a Parisien theatre that specialised in this kind of play. The British Hammer studios put out a ton of these films in the '60s and '70s - lots of claret...

Yes, as a taut thriller Silence is superior - but Hannibal was just more enjoyable as a cinematic experience. I suppose you should take them along the same lines as the Alien films: in that they are obviously linked but are very much different takes of the same source material, under different directors, keen to make a different film.

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Do you remember this scene? Probably the best one out of the whole trilogy:

1:06:49 onward..

The only nitbit I have with this powerful take is that AH's posture (staring down constantly and flaring nostrils) and stillness is not what I would have imagined. Otherwise, it's perfect. It is not easy to tell here, but on the blu-ray, both of them have faint tears in their eyes.

0:30:35 , where AH says "I've been in this room..." is another perfect take. He gets up, and with darting eyes imagines a 'view, a window where I can see a tree, or even water..." . This adds conviction to his words and his 'loaded offer'.

1:41, when Foster enters the disgusting house, and sees the 'death's head' Moth is another thrilling moment. Her acting in this bit is also completely perfect. In a few seconds, one can see that she struggles to stop shock from overtaking her. Then, she tries to resist her own paralyzing fear.

----------------------------------------

Hannibal soundtrack (pretty good for film):

32:20 - Hannibal's presentation of Dante.

'Vide Cor Meum' starts on 49:50. It was also used in 'Kingdom of Heaven'.

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