Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Joe Wright|
|Story by||Seth Lochhead|
|Music by||The Chemical Brothers|
|Cinematography||Alwin H. Küchler|
|Editing by||Paul Tothill|
|Distributed by||Focus Features|
|Running time||111 minutes|
|Language||English, with some German, French, Italian, Arabic, and Spanish|
Hanna is a 2011 British–German action thriller film that contains prominent fairy tale elements, directed by Joe Wright. The film stars Saoirse Ronan as the title character, alongside Eric Bana and Cate Blanchett. The film was released in North America on 8 April 2011 and in Europe on 5 May 2011.
Hanna Heller (Saoirse Ronan) is a 15-year-old girl  who lives with her father, Erik Heller (Eric Bana) in the wilderness of northern Finland. The film opens with her hunting and killing a reindeer, first by shooting it with an arrow that just misses its heart, and then killing it with a handgun.
Since age two, Hanna has been trained by Erik, an ex-C.I.A. operative from Germany, to be a skilled assassin. Erik knows a secret that cannot become public. He left the agency, going incognito into the Arctic. Marissa Wiegler (Cate Blanchett), a C.I.A. officer, wants to kill Erik, who has trained Hanna to kill Wiegler. Hanna reads a blood-stained Grimms' Fairy Tales book frequently, has a great deal of encyclopaedic knowledge, and is fluent in several languages. Due to her training away from civilization, she has never come into contact with modern technology or culture, and is personally unfamiliar with music or electricity. She has memorized a series of fake back-stories for herself to be used "when the time comes".
One night, Hanna tells Erik that she is "ready". Erik digs up a transmitter that will alert the outside world to their presence. Warning Hanna that if Marissa Wiegler ever finds her "she won't stop" until either Hanna or Wiegler is dead, he reluctantly allows Hanna the freedom to make her decision. After some time considering the decision, at least overnight, Hanna slowly flips the switch, sending a signal of their location to Wiegler, who sends a team to Erik's cabin. Erik leaves, instructing Hanna to eventually meet him in Berlin. Hanna waits for the team, and kills some of them as they enter the cabin, but is captured and taken to a large underground C.I.A. complex. Wiegler is suspicious over Hanna's request to talk to her, and decides to send in a body double (Michelle Dockery) instead. Hanna asks the body double where she met her father. The double, who is being fed answers through an earpiece by Wiegler, answers the questions correctly, and Hanna starts to cry and crawl into the lap of the double, sobbing into her shoulder. This makes the officials uneasy, who send soldiers and a doctor to her cell to sedate her to calm her down. As they enter the cell, Hanna kills the double, and then kills several others (stealing a handgun from one of them), breaks free through the ventilation system, and escapes the compound.
She finds herself on the run in the Moroccan desert, where Hanna meets Sebastian (Jason Flemyng) and Rachel (Olivia Williams), a bohemian British couple on a camper-van holiday with their teenage daughter, Sophie (Jessica Barden), and their younger son, Miles (Aldo Maland). She sneaks into the family's camper-van and hitches a ferry ride to Spain, with the goal of reaching Germany. The family is very nice to her, and she and Sophie become close, and spend some time meeting with some local boys and appreciating the local culture of music and dancing. Meanwhile, Wiegler hires a former agent called Isaacs (Tom Hollander) to capture Hanna before she can reunite with her father in Germany. Hanna travels with the family as they drive north. Isaacs and his men trail them and eventually corner Hanna and the family in France, but after telling Sophie not to follow her and thanking her for being a friend, she manages to escape, killing one of the men after her. Wiegler arrives, interrogates the family, and finds out that Hanna is heading to Berlin from Miles after Wiegler pretends that she is looking for Hanna to protect her.
Arriving at the address her father had told her, Hanna meets with Knepfler (Martin Wuttke), an eccentric old magician, who lives in a Grimm's Fairy Tale themed house in an abandoned amusement park. It's Hanna's 16th birthday and Knepfler makes her breakfast with egg and waffles. He also lets her listen to some music, which she has not had access to in the forest. Hanna plans to rendezvous with her father. However, Wiegler and Isaacs arrive. Hanna escapes, but not before she overhears Wiegler and Isaacs make comments that suggest Erik is not her real father. Now confused, she eventually meets her father at her grandmother's apartment, where Wiegler had tried to find her, and then killed her grandmother. Hanna then learns that Erik is not her father; Erik was actually once a recruiter for a program in which pregnant women were recruited from abortion clinics so that the C.I.A. could alter their children's DNA, enhancing their strength, stamina, and reflexes while suppressing emotions like fear and pity in order to create a batch of super-soldiers. However, the project was shut down for unexplained reasons and all the women and their genetically-modified children were eliminated. Erik tried to escape with Hanna and her mother Johanna Zadek (Vicky Krieps), but Wiegler attacked their vehicle, where two-year-old Hanna had been reading her Grimm's Fairy Tales. Wiegler shot Johanna, who then collapsed from gruesome injuries after making away some distance from the burning car, its bumper angled up against a tree. Erik managed to escape with two-year-old Hanna.
Wiegler and Isaacs arrive, intent on killing them; Erik acts as a distraction to allow Hanna to escape. Erik kills Isaacs, but is shot and killed by Wiegler, who then goes back to the Grimm house. Hanna is there, having just discovered Knepfler dead, his corpse hung upside down after being used for archery practice by Isaacs. After a chase into the woods toward the abandoned amusement park, Hanna and Wiegler confront one another. Hanna pleads for an end to the killing, saying she does not want to hurt anyone else. Wiegler says she just wants to talk, but Hanna starts walking away. Upset by this act of defiance, Wiegler shoots Hanna, who responds by shooting Wiegler with an arrow she pulled from Knepfler's body, using a bungee cord she found to propel it. Hanna is knocked to the ground with a bullet in her left lower abdomen. She gets up, gets her bearings and follows Wiegler into a tunnel, noticing a deer, and then seeing Wiegler fleeing up a nearby water slide. An unarmed Hanna chases Wiegler to the top of the slide's stairs, as Wiegler continually shoots at her. Near the top, it becomes clear that Hanna's arrow did more damage than Wiegler's bullet, and a disoriented Wiegler falls and slides down the water flume right when she is about to shoot Hanna, dropping her handgun. Hanna follows the wounded Wiegler, picks up the dropped gun, comments on how she just barely missed Wiegler's heart, and shoots her. The bookend scene mirrors the opening of the film in which Hanna hunts and kills the reindeer.
- Saoirse Ronan as Hanna Heller
- Cate Blanchett as Marissa Wiegler
- Eric Bana as Erik Heller
- Jessica Barden as Sophie
- Aldo Maland as Miles
- Tom Hollander as Isaacs
- Olivia Williams as Rachel
- Jason Flemyng as Sebastian
- Michelle Dockery as False Marissa
- Vicky Krieps as Johanna Zadek
- Martin Wuttke as Knepfler (Mr. Grimm)
- Sebastian Hulk as Titch
Filming locations included Lake Kitka in Kuusamo, northeastern Finland, several locations in Germany including Bad Tölz, Potsdam's Studio Babelsberg, the water bridge at Magdeburg, around Kottbusser Tor and Görlitzer Bahnhof in Berlin-Kreuzberg, the abandoned East Berlin amusement park Spreepark, Hamburg and Reeperbahn, as well as Ouarzazate and Essaouira in Morocco. Temperatures during the Finland shoot sometimes fell as low as −33 °C (−27 °F), but Ronan said "Finland did bring out the fairy tale aspects of the story. We were shooting on a frozen lake, surrounded by pine trees covered in snow". Most of the filming occurred at Studio Babelsberg.
The film's story and script were written by Seth Lochhead while a student in the Writing program at Vancouver Film School. He finalized the script in 2006 with David Farr providing later changes. Lochhead wrote the original story and script on spec. Ronan commented on her character, saying: "We meet her as she goes out on her own, and when she does she is fascinated by everyone and everything she comes across. My favorite quality of hers is that she is non-judgmental; she shows an open mind to, and a fascination with, everything".
In an interview with Film School Rejects, Wright cited David Lynch as a major influence on Hanna. On The Chemical Brothers' score, he said: "You can expect an extraordinarily loud, thumping, deeply funky score that will not disappoint".
Themes and motifs 
Reviewers remarked that the setting and style of Hanna significantly depart from a typical action movie. According to the official website, the film has "elements of dark fairy tales" woven into an "adventure thriller". Joe Wright, the director, has said that the movie's theme is a "fantasy" about "overcoming the dark side" during the "rites of passage" of adolescent maturation when a child transforms and "has to go into the world". He said that he was influenced by personal exposure every day as he grew up to "violent, dark, cautionary fairy tales" that "prepare children for the future obstacles in the wider world", as well as his "deep love for the mystical qualities of David Lynch movies", by the patterns of narrative that he prefers because of his dyslexia, and by working as a child in his parents' puppetry company.
The Chemical Brothers music underscores the movie (including The Devil Is In The Beats and The Devil Is In The Details) make reference to Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange and to Wright's "fairy tale theme" of childhood innocence confronting the modern "synthetic" world. Several reviewers have commented on a hyper-stylized Kubrickian tone, reminiscent of A Clockwork Orange. Hanna was judged as having a "Kubrick-esque" style, including Isaacs, "whose gleeful sadism is at times darkly comedic," as a whistling villain reminiscent of Alex DeLarge. Joe Wright's "love of fairy tales and David Lynch movies" was seen as blending A Clockwork Orange  and the work of the Brothers Grimm.
Richard Roeper judged it to be a "surreal fairy tale" with "omnipresent symbolism". Matt Goldberg said it was "an effective and surreal dark fairy tale"... ..."with a dreamlike sensibility... ...Everything in the picture is slightly askew and provides immediacy to Hanna’s offbeat coming-of-age tale... ...a film that refuses to exist solely in the realm of reality or fairy tale... ...'gritty' realism simply isn’t worthy of the story he’s trying to tell." Fairy tale motifs are strewn through the film. In the "tightly-edited patchwork of visual iconography, allusion and symbolism" Wiegler is equated with the Big Bad Wolf or the queen in Snow White. "Classic fairy tale movie tropes abound;" for example, the camera spins in obvious circles as Hanna makes her escape from the underground government facility early in the film, "just as the young heroine’s world is spinning out of control." Peter Bradshaw found the fairy tale mythology "unsubtle". Conversely, some reviewers did not comment on the fairy tale elements, and others did so with expressive reservation.
Kyle Munkittrick of Discover Magazine notes that Hanna is in fact a "transhumanist hero". Despite being genetically engineered to have "high intelligence, muscle mass, and no pity", she is still a good-natured person. He says Hanna, "symbolizes the contest between genetics and environment", or, "perhaps more familiarly, nature vs nurture".
Hanna received mostly positive reviews; it holds a 71% favorable rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 203 reviews with the consensus stating "Fantastic acting and crisply choreographed action sequences propel this unique, cool take on the revenge thriller". Justin Chang of Variety states that "Joe Wright's 'Hanna' is an exuberantly crafted chase thriller that pulses with energy from its adrenaline-pumping first minutes to its muted bang of a finish". Roger Ebert gave the film three and a half stars out of four, commenting "Wright combines his two genres into a stylish exercise that perversely includes some sentiment and insight".
Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian, on the other hand, gives the film two of five stars, stating "With its wicked-witch performance from Cate Blanchett, its derivative premise, its bland Europudding location work and some frankly outrageous boredom, this will test everyone's patience." Kenneth Turan, of the Los Angeles Times, states that the film "starts off like a house afire but soon burns itself out". He states that even though the film is "[b]lessed with considerable virtues, including a clever concept, crackling filmmaking and a charismatic star, it ultimately squanders all of them, undone by an unfortunate lack of subtlety and restraint".
According to Hollywood Reporter, Hanna came in second place at the U.S. box office in its first weekend behind Hop. When the film closed on 7 July 2011, it had grossed $40,259,119 in the domestic box office, with a worldwide total of $63,782,078; based on a $30 million budget, the film is considered a financial success.
|Young Artist Award||Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young Actress||Saoirse Ronan||Nominated|||
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- Official website (United States)
- Official website (International)
- Hanna at the Internet Movie Database
- Hanna at AllRovi
- Hanna at Box Office Mojo
- Hanna at Rotten Tomatoes
- Hanna at Metacritic