| Hannibal (2001) |
Hannibal is the sequel to the highly successful The Silence of the Lambs. It is directed by Ridley Scott instead of Jonathan Demme and is based on the book by Thomas Harris. Anthony Hopkins plays the brilliant, cannibalistic sociopath Dr. Hannibal Lecter again very well and Julianne Moore instead of Jodie Foster plays Clarice Starling. These were the main characters in Silence of the Lambs.
Where SOTL only had 17 minutes of Lecter on screen, this film focuses a lot more on Hopkin's character.
Essentially, 10 years have passed since Dr. Lecter escaped from incarceration in Memphis in U.S.A. and he wants to come out of his 'hibernation' and contact Agent Clarice Starling with whom he shared a unique and unclear relationship of civility. Meanwhile Starling is being lambasted for her overdeveloped trigger finger in apprehending drug dealers.
An tense series of events leads Starling to tracking down Lecter before he is sentenced to an abhorrent death at the hands of a surviving, former victim of his, called Mason Verger whose face is mutilated and thirsts for revenge.
This film is B class and inferior to its prequel SOTL. The acting on the part of Hopkins is retained though not as compelling and the initial sequence of events and setting creates a satisfyingly tense atmosphere which is amplified by the rare but utterly shocking gore scenes. But it was the wooden performance of Julianne Moore who beared very little resemblance to Jodie Foster's Starling despite the time difference, that really crippled the atmosphere and so the long awaited face to face meeting between Lecter and Starling was anti-climactic. The very last scene however was truly shocking.
Like SOTL, this film is anti-male. Almost all of the male characters are twisted or evil in some way and of course almost all violence is directed at them save a couple of examples. There is a repeated idea of Starling being oppressed in some way by her male colleagues, one of which is particularly bad, and a scapegoat for the typical less favorable male stereotypes such as pervertedness.
Hannibal himself seems chivalrous during the movie more often than not. 'The Apostle Paul couldn't have said it better. He hated women too.' And his homicidal instincts are still not explained.
There is the Beauty and the Beast idea again with Starling, despite being horribly masculine and unlikable, seeming to tame Lecter. She fails of course and Hannibal is as bad as ever in the end. I suppose I can be grateful for that.
- Reviewed by: Mr. Doesn'tGiveaDamn
Rated: UK:18, USA:R, Canada: 18A due to strong gruesome violence, some nudity and language.
Duration: 2 hours & 11 minutes