Sunday, February 18, 2007

Hannibal Rising - Reviewed

To me, I find that Hannibal Lecter is a character best used sparingly. Of the three films within the original “Hannibal Trilogy” (though I’m loathed to call it that), “Red Dragon” and “Silence of the Lambs” are my two favorite installments, both of which only feature Hannibal as a supporting player with limited screen time. I found the third installment, aptly named “Hannibal”, to be the least appealing. Well, “Hannibal Rising” is a prequel to that series, focusing completely on the title character. While that didn’t exactly appeal to my pallet, those of you who want Hannibal, Hannibal and more Hannibal will most likely enjoy this offering.

The story begins in Germany, 1941, at Castle Lecter. Young Hannibal (Aaron Thomas) and his family are forced to flee to a secluded shack in the wilderness to hide from bombarding Nazi forces. Hannibal’s parents are killed by enemy fire and he and his infant sister, Mischa (Helena Lia Tachovska) are left alone in a horrible blizzard. They are soon taken prisoner by a group of Nazi war profiteers, who go mad with hunger and eat Mischa. Fast forward 8 years, and Hannibal (Gaspard Ulliel) is now a disturbed young orphan who goes to live with his Aunt, Lady Murasaki (Li Gong). She trains him in the ways of the Samurai and Hannibal uses these skills to hunt down the men who killed his sister, gradually losing his grip on reality in the process.

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