Lurid Tale with Some Literate Pretensions
Release Date: February 09, 2007
Starring: Gaspard Ulliel, Gong Li, Rhys
Ifans, Dominic West, Kevin
McKidd, and Richard Brake
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 116 minutes approximately
Distributor: MGM/Sony Pictures
Director: Peter Webber
Executive Producer: None
Producer: Dino De Laurentiis, Martha De
Laurentiis and Tarak Ben Ammar
Writer: Thomas Harris
Address Comments To:Dan Taylor, President
Harry Evans Sloan, Chairman/CEO
Clark Woods, President of Distribution
MGM Studios Inc.
(A privately held company of Sony Pictures Entertainment)
10250 Constellation Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 900067
Phone: (310) 449-3000
Fax: (310) 449-8819
This new movie tells how Hannibal's parents were killed in Lithuania during World War II when he was a boy as the Red Army was driving Hitler's National Socialist troops out of the Baltic States. Hannibal and his little sister, Mischa, are trapped in a frozen cabin near their family's castle. A small group of starving Nazi sympathizers finds the isolated cabin and decides to kill the two children and eat them (they are surrounded by the Red Army). Hannibal escapes this gruesome fate, but not Mischa.
Eight years later, Hannibal escapes from the Soviet Communist orphanage that has taken over his family castle. He goes to France to find an uncle, but when he gets there, he finds his uncle is dead and has left his beautiful Asian wife, Lady Murasaki, in charge of his nice estate. She kindly shelters Hannibal, but Hannibal is bent on revenge against the men who murdered his sister. He also takes out his anger by brutally murdering a butcher who insulted his aunt.
Eventually, by the late 1950s, Hannibal discovers that the men he wants are living comfortably in France, where they own a couple businesses while, at the same time, they run a criminal white slave trade of imprisoned young women. After a couple murders by Hannibal, the remaining men discover who's after them. They take action against Hannibal while a police inspector tries to solve the murders and put Hannibal behind bars. Of course, in this movie, Hannibal always cannibalizes a part of his victims, as a symbolic act of revenge for his sister.
HANNIBAL RISING creates sympathy for Hannibal because of what happened to his sister. There are, however, several moments where Hannibal is called a monster and where the policeman and his aunt advise him against revenge and in favor of letting the police obtain justice for his sister. In one climactic scene, his aunt urges him to forgive the men who killed Mischa, but Hannibal yells, "Never!" The movie also contains brief anti-Communist content showing some of the oppressive nature of the Soviet Union's control over Eastern Europe. Thus, the movie takes a stand against the monstrosities of our modern, so-called "enlightened" age. All of this gives the movie a literate tone.
Even so, however, when you come right down to it, HANNIBAL RISING is a lurid tale of murder, cannibalism and revenge. The violence is excessive and, at times, gruesome, and there is brief foul language. Finally, there is some romantic tension between Hannibal and his widowed aunt by marriage, who is older than he.
HANNIBAL RISING takes a stand against the monster that Hannibal has become and against his gruesome plan of revenge. Still, this is a lurid tale of murder, cannibalism and revenge. The violence is excessive and, at times, gruesome, and there is brief foul language. Also, there is some romantic tension between Hannibal and his widowed aunt by marriage, who is older than he.