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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Movie Review-Hannibal Rising

Gaspard Ulliel plays Hannibal Lecter in Hannibal Rising, which tells the story of how the psychotic killer became the villain in the other films about his life: The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal and Red Dragon.  Photo courtesy The Weinstein Company
Gaspard Ulliel plays Hannibal Lecter in Hannibal Rising, which tells the story of how the psychotic killer became the villain in the other films about his life: The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal and Red Dragon. Photo courtesy The Weinstein Company

By Sara Pintilie/reporter

Gaspard Ulliel plays Hannibal Lecter in Hannibal Rising, which tells the story of how the psychotic killer became the villain in the other films about his life: The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal and Red Dragon.  Photo courtesy The Weinstein Company
Gaspard Ulliel plays Hannibal Lecter in Hannibal Rising, which tells the story of how the psychotic killer became the villain in the other films about his life: The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal and Red Dragon. Photo courtesy The Weinstein Company

Hannibal Lecter is one of the most iconic villains in today’s cinema.

He has such a disturbing brilliance, audiences became entranced as he toyed with and helped Clarice Starling in the classic horror/thriller flick Silence of the Lambs. 

Love for the ultimate villain, today’s version of Hitchcock’s Norman Bates, spawned one sequel, Hannibal, and two prequels, Red Dragon and Hannibal Rising. 

The newest addition to the Hannibal family, Hannibal Rising, tells the tale of how Hannibal became the sadistic, psychotic cannibal.

At the age of 8, in war-torn Lithuania, Hannibal, his younger sister Mischa and the rest of his wealthy family hide in a farmhouse to escape the invading Nazis.

Hannibal’s parents die in the crossfire of a close battle, and the children are stranded until a pack of looting soldiers, on the run from the law, stumble onto their home.

A few horrific things happen, and eight years later, Hannibal is a teenaged orphan who is mute by day but screams for Mischa at night.

Soon, he becomes a student at medical school, footing the bills by preparing cadavers for classes. Hannibal leaves school for awhile to begin his new plan, to destroy the men who killed his sister.

The murders are atrocious to the point they delude the reasoning behind the killing. Hannibal is exactly what Clarice said in Lambs.

“ They don’t have a name for what he is,” she said.

He is his own category of villain, but I kind of lost respect for Hannibal because of the artless, gory slaughters. There was no finesse; there was no moment where Lecter just got under the skin as in Lambs or even Red Dragon (Hannibal doesn’t exist in my mind).

Simply, Hannibal Rising just doesn’t do the original the justice it deserves. Though the film portrays the sadism of Lecter to a tee, it does it through mindless gore instead of the psychological aspect that made Lambs great.

Lecter was much scarier as the old man trapped in a glass cell than the teenager running amuck killing the people who wronged him.

On that note though, I did enjoy Gaspard Ulliel as young Lecter. Ulliel is a talented French actor that I extremely enjoy in every movie he has been in, such as A Very Long Engagement and Strayed. He pulls off the emotionless expressions and the uber-creepiness that is Lecter and can carry a movie.

I think one of the best scenes in the flick is when he is being interrogated by the police. He doesn’t react and is more menacing when he doesn’t talk.

Gong Li makes an interesting addition to the film as Hannibal’s aunt, Lady Murasaki Shikibu. I loved her performance in Memoirs of a Geisha, but in this film she seems forced, as though they just wrote in her character to add a girl to the cast.

I give the movie two and half stars out of five.

Hannibal Rising is a renter at best for horror buffs or Hannibal fans.

Or if mindless gore and cannibalism are what the audience craves, this is the movie for them.

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