Ah… Hannibal, so much creativity and thought process put in to divert a name like this from cannibal. Well, let’s not say much about the name since it is.. after all a famous name after having 3 other movies before this one. Red Dragon, Hannibal and Silence of the Lambs and this movie is an adaptation from Thomas Harris’ novels.
Of course it would sounds funny that I have not watch any of the prequels… which means I get to know WHY and what turn him in to such a monster… before watching the rest of it. Sounds weird? I guess so too. Then again, I have nothing to compare with hence I could just give my 2 cents worth of opinion solely based on this movie itself.
One who have seen loads of my review would have known Gong Li is one of my favourite actress and no kidding she is one of the reason I pick to watch this movie, or else.. I would have given it a skip since I didn’t watch any of it’s prequels before.
Hannibal Lecter, who is he? It is a constant question everyone would ask. Many would want to find out his origins. What happen to him, what turn him into a monsterious serial killer. Someone who have no compassion, love or feelings when it comes to killing. Who and what turns him in to what he is? The story unfolds at this very movie. The roots of all beginning… the origin… the truth.
Set in the 1940’s, Hannibal Lecter (Aaron Thomas)… a 8 year old boy was staying with his family in Lecter Castle in Lithuania. An opening scene show how young Hannibal was playing with her sister Mischa (Helena Lia Tachovska) by the lake. When they heard a sudden loud bomb, they ran home only to notice his parents were busy packing. They decide to escape to their family’s haunting lodge when Hitler’s invasion turns the Baltic region into the front line of World War II.
Hannibal then follow his mother (Ingeborga Dapkunaite) to her room to pick up other important stuff before leaving. She was about to reach out for some letters in the drawer. However, they have to leave almost immediately and would have to leave it behind. As they arrive at the family’s haunting lodge, they started to set up and clean the house. Hannibal saw and notice how his mother hide away her expensive jewelry.
Right after they left, the Waffen-SS reach and stopped at Lecter Castle. Six soldiers which include Vladis Grutas (Rhys Ifans), Enrikas Dortlich (Richard Brake), Bronys Grentz (Ivan Marevich), Petras Kolnas (Kevin McKidd), Zigmas Milko (Stephen Walters), and Paul Momund aka. Pot Watcher (Charles Maquignon) wanted to join the Waffen-SS. When the SS commander knows that Lecter’s cook was a Jewish, he ordered Grutas and his men to kill him to prove their loyalty and bravery, which of course they gladly kill the cook.
While preparing and cleaning up the house, a Soviet tank stop in front of Lecter’s lodge for water. They force everyone out of the house. Hannibal and Mischa is allowed to stay at the porch while the adults was asked to line up at the garden. Everything was going fine until a German bomber spots the tank and both the tank and bomber starts firing at one another. The tank manage to shoot down the bomber which ended up crashing on to the tank. That big explosion killed everyone except Mischa and Hannibal.
The SS soldiers were force to leave Lecter Castle as the Soviet army is advancing. While in the war, Grutas and gang saw their wounded SS commander. Instead of helping, he shot him and stole his badge. As the Soviet army advances, they were force to hide in the forest as they would be killed. They pass by Lecter’s lodge and took over the lodge. They then held Hannibal and Mischa hostage.
In the cold winter, they were lack of food. None of them dare to go out worrying they might be caught. Trapped in the lodge without food, they soon set their eyes on Hannibal and Mischa. They decided to cannibalize them. Grutas then check Hannibal and Mischa out. Knowing Mischa won’t live long, they decided to target on her. Mischa is then dragged out from the house, screaming for Hannibal’s name. Hannibal fainted when he was beaten with a log as he hear Mischa shouting his name.
Half blur, he saw the men tasting the soup, feeding themselves to Mischa’s broth. When the lodge was bombed, it starts to fall apart, the men left Hannibal. As they ran, they left behind their dog tags. It was later shown that Hannibal was seen wandering around by a Soviet tank and soldiers. He was then taken in to Lecter Castle, which happens to be the current Soviet orphanage.
A bully is seen always picking on Hannibal. One day, while at the main hall, the bully disturbs Hannibal as he have been rendered mute from his previous shocking experiences and wasn’t singing the orphanage anthem. When the bully tries to attack his head, Hannibal blocks his attack with a fork. Later that night while asleep, Hannibal have flashbacks about Mischa and how she was killed. He then starts to scream which angers the bully. The bully then lock him in the dungeon as an act of revenge.
Since Hannibal grew up at that place, he manage to find a secret pathway out of the place. He then sneaks to his mother’s room and tries to get the letters that was being left behind before they escape to the lodge. He then saw the letters his uncle wrote to the family and decides to look for them. The next morning, the bully came looking for Hannibal in the dungeon. Saw that he escape through a secret passage, he is eager to chase after him. He wasn’t aware that Hannibal has set a bear trap on the floor. As the bully got trapped, he scream at the top of his lungs while the camera quickly glance through the the word “SING” that Hannibal left on the floor.
As Hannibal left the orphanage, he travels a long way and finally reach Paris to look for his uncle. He was peeking at the window and saw a beautiful Japanese lady which he find it familiar. The house butler then notices Hannibal and shoo him away. Before he did, Hannibal showed him his uncle’s wedding picture and letters.
His aunt, Lady Murasaki (Gong Li) took him in. Apprently his uncle passed away a year ago. Together with Murasaki, Hannibal lead a good life. There he learn to say his first word. Lady Murasaki even thought him stuffs like flower arrangement, martial arts and worshipping ancestors.
Lady Murasaki told Hannibal a lot about her past. The armour of her ancestors, the sacred katana, the mask and everything else. Hannibal took interest in everything Lady Murasaki has taught him. One day, Lady Murasaki brought Hannibal along to the local market. There, the butcher made crude remarks to Lady Murasaki. Angry with what the butcher commented, He started a fight with the butcher.
The scene was then focus on the butcher fishing by the lake. Upon hearing someone’s motor stop by, the butcher went back to shore only to notice Hannibal was sitting there waiting for him. Hannibal insisted for an appology which of course the butcher refuse to do and continue making crude remarks about Lady Murasaki. Hannibal then slit open the buther’s stomach. He then starts to make cuts on the butchers body and ended up chopping of his head.
Later when Hannibal arrive at home, he brought along the fish that the butcher had caught before he was murdered home. The butler then told Hannibal that it was a good fish and the best part of the fish is the cheek meat. The meat is so precious and rare that on occassions, one side of the cheek meat will be served to the guess of honour and the other one for the lady. Lady Murasaki then notice the butcher’s head was being offered to the ancestors by Hannibal.
He was suspected for the butcher’s murder. Inspector Pascal Popil (Dominic West) then ask Hannibal to give testimony. He started to suspect Hannibal was the murderer but have no evidence. Hannibal was released when Lady Murasaki diverted the police attention by placing the butcher’s head along the road while Hannibal was in the police station being questioned.
Later on, Hannibal was accepted in a medical school. He was the youngest person ever accepted to the medical school in France. He receives a scholarship and a part time work at a hospital in Paris. Lady Murasaki move together with Hannibal. One day while waiting to collect body of a criminal for his research work, he saw how Inspector Popil force an ex war criminal to remember his previous war crimes by injecting drugs to them. As he confessed, the war criminal was then sentence to death.
Hannibal stole the drugs and took it back home to try it on himself. He wants to find out who killed his sister. He then starts to have lots of flashback. This time a clearer version of the flashbacks. He then recall the names they call each other and the dog tags that were left behind, under the ruins of the lodge.
Hannibal then went back to search for his sister’s remains. Little does he know, he was spotted by Dortlich as he cross the border of the Soviet. Dortlich followed Hannibal back to the lodge. Hannibal was looking around the lodge, manages to find the jewelry his mother keep aside in a boar’s mouth, found Mischa’s remanings and the dog tags that was being left behind.
Dortlich tries to kill Hannibal but was being counter attacked instead. As Dortlich regain his concious, he saw Hannibal burried Mischa’s remaining. He then tortures Dortlich to reveal the wehreabouts of the rest which he did. Hannibal tied Dortlich to a horse pulled pulley and this caused Dortlich’s blood to splatter on Hannibal’s face. Later when the Soviet army arrive on the scene, they found Dortlich was beheaded and his cheeks were carved out.
As he returns, he visited Lady Murasaki to note her about his findings and he is all set about revenging for his sister’s death. They then went to Klonas’ restaurant. He notices it was a very nice restaurant and there was this special bird cage in the middle of the restaurant with the birds chirping happily. While dining, Hannibal finally notice Klonas arriving at the restaurant with his daughter. His daughter was running around and stopped at Hannibal’s table as he offer her a cherry. There, he notices Mischa’s bangle on her hand. He then slip Klonas’ dogtag to her pocket and left. Klonas notices the dog tag and contacted Grutas.
Grutas, now a sex trafficker then sends Milko to finish Hannibal up. Milko tries to kill Hannibal by sneaking in to the hospital and tries to attack Hannibal in his working lab. Hannibal noticed Milko’s existance and attacked him from behind with an injection. Lecter then throws Milko in to a pool of formaldehyde together with other dead bodies forcing him to reveal Grutas hideout. When he did, he them lock him down and drowned him. Just as he lock him down, Inspector Popil walk in to question Hannibal about Dortlich’s death. Of course he was unable to prove Hannibal is behind the murder and instead advice Hannibal to stop hunting down the gang and leave that task to the police.
He went and visit Lady Murasaki. Things was going on fine and they were kissing each other until Lady Murasaki request Hannibal to stop his revenge and leave with her. However, Hannibal rejected Lady Murasaki’s request stating he had made a promise to Mischa earlier on that he shall seek revenge for her. Hannibal then tries to kill Grutas at his home while he was showering. However his plan failed when one of his maid alert his body guard which manage to capture him. When Grutas was about to kill Hannibal, a self made bomb which Hannibal created blasted and he manages to escape.
Angry with what Hannibal has done, he captured Lady Murasaki and use her as bait to lure Hannibal. Grutas then called Hannibal asking him to meet up, Lady Murasaki then drop hints of her whereabout when she knock on the bird cage at Klonas’ restaurant. Hannibal recognizes the sound and went to Klonas’ restaurant. There he played with Klonas’ emotions by threatening him with his children. Klonas have no choice but to give our Grutas’ boat house whereabouts. Hannibal then ask Klonas to call home to check out on his kids, which he did and was angry to find out that he tricked him. Hannibal then left the gun on the stove and wanted to leave Klonas and his family alone. As Klonas reach for the gun on the hot stove, Hannibal stab his hand with a knife.
Hannibal then hides the knife on his back and leave to locate Lady Murasaki. As he got there, he tries to look for Lady Murasaki. When he finally does, he tries to untie her. He was then shot by Grutas on his back. Thinking he his his backbone and he is paralyze, he proceed and tries to rape Lady Murasaki. Hannibal then reaches to his broken knife and cuts of Grutas’ tendons. Grutas was found crippling and tries to reach for the gun.
When he fails, Grutas contfronts Hannibal stating that his revenge was selfish as all he ever worry about is people finding out he too had consume Mischa’s broth. Angered by what Grutas has mentioned, Hannibal carved the letter M on Grutas body stating “M for Mischa” (a line which one would head in the beginning of the movie). Lady Murasaki was very much disturbed by his behaviour and decides to leave him even when he tells her he love her.
Lady Murasaki knows nothing in this world could stop Hannibal’s hatred. Not even her love. As she left, Hannibal was seen on the background chewing of Grutas’ cheeks. When Lady Murasaki was on the bridge nearby, Inspector Popil and other police arrive only to witness the boat house explode and on fire assuming Hannibal and the others were dead.
However, the ending scene shows Hannibal hunting down Grentz, the last member in Canada.
It isn’t exactly a horror movie. Yes, I totally agree humans at times are more horrifying than ghost itself. One can never really know what the others were thinking and their behaviour is totally out of what we can ever imagine.
Gong Li was good but not that great. I think she is so used to characters like this since the Memoirs of Geisha. Playing a Japanese lady role is like a piece of cake for her. I could she even with just 20% effort she could still make it through. What more she is glamourly flourish with FENDI’s clothing design. I somehow think she didn’t put in her 100% in this movie but well, it was enough to pull her through as her other partners was not as good.
Gaspard Ulliel had the look but well… I am not sure, something about him wasn’t really there to potray his madness and cannibal acts. I somehow think he is lack of something.. probably the charisma. I am not sure… something about the way he talk just makes me lose interest in him. I was pretty disappointed how he never chew Klonas’ cheeks out… and not to mention the final kill.
Not sure what to say but there weren’t exactly any thrill or suspense to any of his killing. I was rather a blend movie. Not much surprise, shock or tension. Really… besides a little disturb with the fact that he chew on human… nothing actually thrill me. I wonder if this is the feeling I would have if I watch the other 3 movies. Hemmmm….
Hannibal Rising was last modified: September 17th, 2021 by velverse