The 5 Obstructions Blogathon continues and I'm as late as one can possibly be, but I am here with an ultra-last-minute review of a movie I recently re-watched with my sister. She's also the one I interviewed and if you like what came out of that, tell me. (I have plans).
Obstruction #2: Write a review of a movie but also include an interview about it.
Back in the early days of my obsession with cinema and all things related, one of the rare occasions of me watching something valuable in theaters came up. What made it even better was the fact that my whole family - mum, sis' and myself - went to watch it. A female power night!
Joe Wright's movie is entitled after its main character Hanna (Saoirse Ronan), who lives in the forest of Alaska with her father who teaches her everything you need to survive in the world. From hunting to languages to cooking, Hanna is prepared to be let out into civilisation as a teenager. When the time comes, she has to let herself be found by CIA agent Marissa in order to kill her and then reunite with her father in Berlin. But something goes wrong and Hanna has to go on a long journey that includes many unexpected conflicts.
My love for this movie was strong enough to keep it in my 100 Favourite Movies list for two years without having re-watched it in all that time, and mentioning it whenever I can, be it in one of my own lists, a comment on someone's post or even in real life. And it has only become better with age. Soundtrack, cinematography and direction are all top-notch and the movie is one hell of a stylish ride with the (teenage!) female action hero being only the tip of the iceberg. Despite her sometimes unfortunate choice of roles (cough The Host cough), I still have high hopes for Saoirse Ronan who still appears besides names such as Jennifer Lawrence in lists of the most promising up-and-coming actresses. The girl can portray anything from pitiable loner (Atonement) to brave revolutionary (City of Ember) to the ass-kicking killing machine that is Hanna. Cate Blanchett is a tough opponent and both underline the talent of the other. The action itself is gritty and stylish at the same time and filmed in a way that makes you feel you were actually in there yourself. And then there are also some tender and humourous moments that build a nice contrast to the rest of the movie, especially in the middle part of the movie. I always like when an action movie does that, so it doesn't become too heavy.
Bottom line: Hanna has still got it.
And as the obstruction demands, I present to you my first interview on this blog. I went down the easy path and had a cosy chit-chat with my sister - if I had been smart enough to check out obstruction #2 at the beginning of the month, I might have had the opportunity to interview someone film-related. But then again, I really liked this interview, we had a lot of fun watching the movie so... enjoy!
The first time we watched Hanna was back when it was released - do you remember your first reaction towards it?
My first reaction was that I was really impressed by the idea of Hanna being so strong and independent. I nearly don't remember though... but what I remember is that I really liked it and that I liked the soundtrack.
Why did you decide to buy the DVD and re-watch it?
I decided to buy it because I was at the store with you and I walked past it and then I just thought like, hey, I haven't watched that for a long time and how I was really impressed by it the first time we watched it. And I couldn't really remember much from it except that I liked it, so I just... well, decided to buy it.
So how do you feel about the movie now?
I still like it, I'm still impressed by the skills Hanna has... and what I noticed was the cinematography. It was different but it was really, really good. I also like the ending, that it's a bit open... but yeah, you can imagine what Hanna's going to do now. A little.
What is she going to do?
Well, I think... she said that she didn't want to kill people anymore. So I think she's just going to see the world now. Because she was kept in that little house in, what was it, North Pole? And I think she really wants to see things now.
Can you identify with Hanna?
Yeah, a little bit, because she's really strong-minded... and well, she likes her father and wants to do things that he wants her to do. But she's also... she'd rather make her own decision. I don't know, like, the fighting stuff is something she learned so it's nothing I could identify myself with.
What do you think of the acting in general?
The acting was really good, I think. Especially from Cate Blanchett as Marissa, because she's this psycho CIA hunter, and she's really strict. She really did a good job with that. Hanna's father was also very good. Well, you didn't see much of him, but I liked it. Especially his fighting scenes were impressive. I think Saoirse Ronan did a really good job too. She was quite young when she did the movie, but she could mimic the accent pretty good... and she had to learn all these sentences in Arabic, Spanish etc. so that was really good.
What do you think of the way Germany and being German is presented in the movie?
I think that there's a little bit prejudice in it still. The one guy Marissa knows always has two Nazis with him. Otherwise it's presented pretty well. Well, they shot the movie in Germany, so you see that city as it is. Otherwise the movie's not very German.
Would you classify the movie as an action flick or a thriller?
I'd say it's more of an action movie. But it has also has, like, strings of a thriller. So it's kind of hard to tell.
You haven't seen Kick-Ass yet, but do you think that there needs to be more female action heroes and do you think they work for the mainstream audience?
I think it works, but not like... if they're too typical. If they're always dressed in sexy costumes, I think they wouldn't really be respected as... not role models, but well, as action heroes. Then they'd just be like many other female characters in movies. But generally I think it would work really good, and there should be more female action heroes.
What's your favorite scene?
My favorite scene is when Hanna escapes from the CIA... and the other is when she tells that girls she meets that she can't tell her everything, and that they're friends and stuff, the one in the tent.
And what do you like most about this movie?
I like that Hanna's mother, not her biological mother, but the one that steals her, I like that she says "She'll never be yours", and then that's really true. That's cool.
So do you think the DVD was a good investment and you'll re-watch it again?
Yeah, definitely. And I already have a couple of friends that have to see it.
Thank you for the interview!
As for you guys, I hope I pass obstruction #2 despite my very late post, so you can read the next post in August.