Hannibal Rising [DVD]
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At last, the evolution of his evil is revealed. Hannibal Lecter emerges from the nightmare of the Eastern Front, a boy in the snow, mute, with a chain around his neck. He seems utterly alone, but he has brought his demons with him. Hannibal's uncle, a noted painter, finds him in a Soviet orphanage and brings him to France, where Hannibal will live with his uncle and his uncle's beautiful and exotic wife, Lady Murasaki. Lady Murasaki helps Hannibal to heal.With her help he flourishes, becoming the youngest person ever admitted to medical school in France. But Hannibal's demons visit him and torment him.When he is old enough, he visits them in turn. He discovers he has gifts beyond the academic, and in that epiphany, Hannibal Lecter becomes death's prodigy.
Though Hannibal Rising's Lecter (Gaspard Ulliel) is a pussycat compared to Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs, this sequel's story of revenge is grizzly enough to satisfy lovers of Thomas Harris's epic tale. After young Hannibal (Aaron Thomas) is forced to watch his little sister, Mischa (Helena Lia Tachovska), devoured by starving soldiers in his homeland Lithuania, Hannibal vows to avenge his sister's death by slaying those who committed not only war crimes against the Lecters, but also against other families during WW II.
In detailing Hannibal's revenge plan, the film investigates the psychological implications of witnessing cannibalism to justify Hannibal's insatiable appetite for human flesh. The most interesting aspect of Hannibal Rising--its analytical connections drawn between Hannibal's childhood traumas and his murderous adult obsessions--is also the film's weak point. The links oversimplify Lecter's complex character. For example, though titillating to see flashbacks of Lecter's sister hacked up and boiled while Lecter visits a Parisian meat market, the reference is too obvious. One learns why he excels in his medical school classes dissecting cadavers, and we're given explicit explanation for why he slices off and eats his victims' cheeks. The story only complicates when Hannibal interacts with his sexy Aunt, Lady Murasaki (Gong Li). When Murasaki educates him in the art of beheading, the viewer sees Hannibal's sword fetish as a manifestation of physical lust. --Trinie Dalton
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I must say as an horror fan, I have always liked an physiological kind of horror film preferring it to an pretty teenage blonde girl in an short skirt who is very slowly killed in...Read more