Friday, 28 September 2012

I can't help it. He's always with me, like a bad habit.


Well first off apologies for the lack of blogging, I've been very busy but also recently have not been feeling well, so as always my motivation when I'm ill is 0%.
So this post will be dedicated to my love of  Dr Hannibal Lecter, I think we all know I have a major interest (obsession) with the good Doctor. This post will mainly focus on the DVD boxset of Hannibal I purchased a while back. As I have said many a time my favourite film of all time is The Silence of the Lambs, however unlike most people I actually really enjoy the sequel Hannibal. I have now read all the books and it is safe to say I prefer Ridley Scott's version (which is incredibly controversial, I know.)

First of all I would like to address all of the hate Julianne Moore gets for playing Clarice Starling, I personally think she is fantastic and did a thoroughly good job, of course it was always going to be hard to follow the great Jodie Foster. But number one Jodie did not want to do the film as she felt it betrayed the character of Clarice, although this has been denied by her saying the actual reason was that the Hannibal filming clashed with her directing her first film.

I think that Moore's portrayal of Starling is just spot on, Hannibal takes place 10 years after The Silence of the Lambs, and Clarice has learnt that the FBI is not all she dreamt. After helping capture Jame Gumb she is resented by many of her colleagues, especially Paul Krendler and he has done everything in his power to hinder Clarice's career. Now of course we are meant to hate Krendler he is a sexist and greedy pig, but the fact Ray Liotta plays him makes me hate him even more (sorry Ray you just always give me the creeps!) 

Also the superb Gary Oldman play Mason Verger a former patience of Doctor Lecter's. He's an even nastier piece of work and is a child molester (though this does not feature in the film) and he plans on capturing Lecter for personal revenge and eating him (Lecter kindly suggested Mason should peel his face off and feed it to the dogs whilst he was high.)

My favourite setting in Hannibal is Florence, it just looks so picturesque I really want to visit some day, it looks like an amazing place to live. We discover Lecter has escaped there, and is now living under the name of Doctor Fell. And he is temporary curator of the Capponi Library, (last one mysteriously disappeared, I wonder why?) 

Though as always my favourite aspect of the film is the cat and mouse game between Lecter and Starling, I have always been fascinated and love the tension they have. I must confess that the penultimate scene at Krendler's lake house always makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Starling has to choose whether to give into her feelings or will her sense of duty prevail?

The kiss between Clarice and Hannibal greatly interests me also, both shed a tear, Clarice when Hannibal finally kisses her after all these years of tension. However Lecter's tear is harder to detect as his face is partly covered by a shadow, but after Clarice handcuffs him he realises he must make the ultimate sacrifice. Of course the Doctor constantly teases Starling to the end (he implies it's her hand he'll be cutting off.)

Now I will admit that the romantic in me hopes that by sacrificing his hand Lecter is showing the love he feels for Clarice, and the tear he cries is his acknowledgement that he now understands that the FBI will always come first for Clarice. However the critic in me always thinks can a sociopath / psychopath ever love, (I've still not decided which one his is.) The answer is probably no, but I'm going to let this one slide as after all it is only fiction.

Although for much of the film Clarice is suspended pending investigation, Doctor Lecter says to Starling something that must definitely be one of my favourite quotes of all time ..."would they have you back, you think? The FBI? Those people you despise almost as much as they despise you. Would they give you a medal, Clarice, do you think? Would you have it professionally framed and hang it on your wall to look at and remind you of your courage and incorruptibility? All you would need for that, Clarice, is a mirror."

I genuinely believe Lecter wishes Clarice to see her full potential, for he has always seen her as a worthy opponent.

Another fantastic component of the film is the score created by the very talented Hans Zimmer (who works also include Sherlock Holmes and Gladiator.) There are twelve tracks on the album, all heavily influenced by classical music, my favourites are 1. Dear Clarice 9. Let My Home Be My Gallows and 12. Vide Cor Meum. The music definitely helps take the film to the next level, as every good soundtrack should. Vide Cor Meum is sung in the opera that takes place in Florence, the words featured in it are those of Dante's from La Vita Nuova, which Dr Lecter (Fell) lectures on to a group of academics in the Capponi Library.

Overall I really enjoyed the film and I never get bored of it, and I think the ending of the film is much more true to Clarice then the book ending is. Sir Anthony Hopkins as usual gives another spell binding performance however it is a little strange to see Lecter outside of a prison cell! This is another brilliant installment in the Lecter saga and I recommend it is well worth a watch.

Let me know you thoughts on Hannibal.


1 comment:

  1. Hi
    I have found your blog via YouTube
    I also love film and Home Cinema, I find your knowledge absolutely astounding
    I to love silence of the lambs definitely one of my fav 90,s movies and def one of if not the best thriller up there as is the movie se7en
    I have a blog to dedicated to Blu Ray and Home Cinema
    I'll keep on following you..please keep it up