Sunday, December 11, 2016


Movie Name: Hannibal
Year of Release: 2001
Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Julianne Moore, Gary Oldman, Ray Liotta, Frankie Faison, Giancarlo Giannini, Francesca Neri, Zeljko Ivanek, Hazelle Goodman, David Andrews, Francis Guinan
Genre: Drama, Crime, Thriller
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 5
Watch it on Amazon

Prolific director Ridley Scott premiered two films in 2001: "Hannibal" and "Black Hawk Down", curiously both following his celebrated and awarded "Gladiator". "Hannibal" is a direct sequel to the iconic and classic "The Silence of the Lambs" from Jonathan Demme. The film once again is an adaptation of the novel by Thomas Harris, which focuses more on Hannibal Lecter than the previous which was anchored on the experiences of Clarice Starling. The story takes place 7 years after the events of "The Silence of the Lambs", with Lecter now living in Italy and working as a curator at a museum. Clarice Starling in the meantime is having troubles within the FBI, caused by a rival colleague who wants to sabotage her career. One of the survivors from Lecter's murdering spree, the disfigured (and very wealthy) Mason Verger, wants revenge for his condition, and uses Starling as bait to bring Hannibal back to the States.
Hannibal Lecter has become one charismatic and iconic character, thanks to Anthony Hopkin's performance in "The Silence of the Lambs". However, the character was always a second fiddle to the main narrative and main hero, namely Clarice Starling and Will Graham (in "Red Dragon"). With "Hannibal" Thomas Harris decided to place the killer at the center of the narrative, and while the film once again exhibits Ridley Scott's impeccable taste and craftsmanship, it's a flawed feature that relies more on gore and gruesome aspects, as opposed to tension and suggestion, which worked so well in Jonathan Demme's classic. Another aspect not quite as successful - what Anthony Hopkins managed to create in the original with a short limited presence (he was in "The Silence of the Lambs" for 24 minutes), was expanded to leading role, where the nuances of the character were almost all removed, becoming more of caricature of the original part. Julianne Moore also felt miscast, and feels terribly out of place. It's a film that once again displays Ridley Scott's unbalanced career: a strong focus on visuals but a lack of depth and character definition. A missed opportunity.