Isn't it interesting that most critics of this film whine that it didn't measure up to "The Silence of the Lambs"? If you merely want a reworking of Lambs, go rent Lambs and watch it again. Frankly, anyone who goes to see "Hannibal Rising" hoping to have the same response and emotions engendered by "Lambs" is a boob of the first magnitude. The fact is, "Red Dragon" and "Lambs" are psychological thrillers, "Hannibal" is an action flick and "Hannibal Rising" is a biopic/action flick. Of the four Lecter films, "Hannibal Rising" is second only to "Lambs" in overall quality. ("Red Dragon" was spoiled by Ed Norton's astoundingly robotic performance; "Hannibal" was a visual masterpiece but was ultimately tainted by the the screenwriters' obvious desperation to concoct an ending that bore no resemblance to the novel's very cool conclusion.) "Hannibal Rising" has it all. 1) Superb direction (Lecter's riverside encounter with Paul Momund is stunning in its ballet-like choreography); 2) a perfectly paced screenplay; 3) beautiful art direction and design; and 4) powerful performances. Li Gong's Lady Murasaki is actually as I pictured her in the novel: beautiful, mysterious and not-to-be-trifled with. But it's Gaspard Ulliel who steals the show. It amazes me that he successfully played someone who's simultaneously a sweet, vulnerable youth victimized by the Nazis and the Soviets and a calculating, coldblooded murderer. Ulliel's finest moment is when Lecter unleashes his unhinged wrath in the climatic scene aboard the river barge; it was thoroughly disturbing. Don't listen to the critics. Go see this movie.
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After the death of his parents during World War II, young Hannibal Lecter moves in with his beautiful aunt and begins plotting revenge on the barbarians responsible for his sister's death.
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April 14, 2019