Hanna: Adapt or Die

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By Aditi Patil
Staff Writer

Hanna and her father, Erik Heller

Finland is in the Arctic Circle. It is a barren land covered with snow and trees. Life is scarce. Hanna, played by Saoirse Ronan, has lived her entire life in an isolated cottage in the Finnish wilderness.

Hanna’s father, played by Eric Bana, has kept her in the woods her entire life. She has only heard about things such as electricity and music from the encyclopedias. Erik Heller, her father, reads to her at night. He trained Hanna to be faster, stronger, deadlier, and always ready for an attack. She is taught to be fluent in every major language. In other words, he trained her to be an assassin.

Ronan’s performance as Hanna is amazing. She plays the unknowing girl who isn’t used to human interaction. But she also plays the girl who was trained to be a killer. Her strong character is well portrayed. It is impressive how Ronan can play diverse roles. Ronan also portrayed Susie in The Lovely Bones, but in that movie she plays the victim.

The beginning of the movie was a glimpse of Hanna’s life in Finland. But it’s slow moving and the timeline is confusing. Only until Hanna says she’s ready and Erik goes out to dig up what will change her future, does the movie start to pick up pace.

The lapse of time still continues to be confusing for a little while, but soon the movie embarks on nonstop action and suspense since there was a constant threat looming over Hanna. Also,there is a lot of killing. Someone dies every ten minutes of the movie. So, this isn’t a movie for people who like happy endings or don’t like death or violence.

Hanna is rated PG-13 so none of the deaths are actually shown. The movie is violent, but not gory.

Throughout not only the action sequences, but the entire movie, the camera perspective is constantly changing. It’s not like most movies, where the camera is the same view, as if the audience is watching in front of the action. Hanna is seen from all sorts of perspectives; birds-eye view, a jumbled and confused camera work that adds to the chaos, and is sometimes within the center of the action.

The actual fight sequences themselves are well choreographed.

Cate Blanchett as Marissa Wiegler

Hanna’s goal is to find Marissa Wiegler, played by Cate Blanchett and kill her. Marissa, a no-nonsense CIA leader, killed Hanna’s mom and Erik’s girlfriend and they want revenge.

Cate Blanchett is a successful actress who has been in many movies including the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and I’m not There. She does a wonderful job of portraying the villain, and she is also seen doing in the Narnia movies. The indifference with which she plays her character makes her truly hate-able.

Despite being a serious action movie, the director, Joe Wright, does a wonderful job of incorporating humor. The dialogue of some of the more light hearted characters Hanna befriends on her journey, caused moments of laughter through the audience. All of this was done without disrupting the continuity of the plot.

The end of Hanna is not satisfying, but it’s not supposed to be. Most people won’t see any closure, but there is in the development of Hanna’s characters and secrets revealed about her.