Hannibal Rising (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Peter Webber|
|Produced by||Dino De Laurentiis
Martha De Laurentiis
Tarak Ben Ammar
|Screenplay by||Thomas Harris|
|Based on||Hannibal Rising
by Thomas Harris
|Music by||Ilan Eshkeri
|Edited by||Pietro Scalia
|Distributed by||Momentum Pictures (UK)
SPI International (Czech Republic)
The Weinstein Company
|Running time||121 minutes
130 minutes (Extended cut)
Hannibal Rising is a 2007 horror film and the fifth film of the Hannibal Lecter franchise. It is a prequel to the previous three films: The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal, and Red Dragon. The film is an adaptation of Thomas Harris' 2006 novel of the same name and tells the story of Lecter's evolution into the infamous cannibal/serial killer of the previous films and books.
Hannibal Rising was directed by Peter Webber from a screenplay by Harris, and was filmed in Barrandov Studios in Prague. It was produced by the Dino De Laurentiis Company and was released on 9 February 2007. Theatrical distribution in the United States was handled by The Weinstein Company and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The DVD was released on 29 May 2007.
In 1944, an eight-year-old Hannibal Lecter lives in Lecter Castle in Lithuania. Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union turns the Baltic region into part of the bloodiest front line of World War II. Lecter, his younger sister Mischa, and their parents travel to the family's hunting lodge in the woods to elude the advancing German troops. The Nazis are finally driven out of the countries soon to be occupied by the Soviet Union. During their retreat, however, they destroy a Soviet tank that had stopped at the Lecter family's lodge looking for water. The explosion kills everyone but Lecter and Mischa. They survive in the cottage until six former Lithuanian militiamen, led by a Nazi collaborator named Vladis Grutas, storm and loot it. Finding no other food in the bitterly cold Baltic winter, the men look menacingly at Lecter and Mischa.
By 1952, Lecter Castle has been turned into a Soviet orphanage. After dealing violently with a bully, Lecter escapes from the castle orphanage to Paris to live with his widowed aunt, the Lady Murasaki. While in France, Lecter flourishes as a student. He commits his first murder as a teenager, killing a local butcher who has insulted his aunt. He is suspected of the murder by Inspector Popil, a French detective who also lost his family in the war. Thanks in part to his aunt's intervention, Lecter escapes responsibility for the crime.
Eventually, Lecter becomes the youngest person ever admitted to medical school in France. He receives a working scholarship at a hospital in Paris, where he is given a job preparing cadavers. One day, Lecter witnesses a condemned war criminal receiving a sodium thiopental injection recall details about his war crimes. In an attempt to recall the names of those responsible for his sister's death, Lecter injects himself with the solution. His subsequent flashback reveals the men who had killed and cannibalized Mischa. Lecter returns to Lithuania in search of his sister's remains. He excavates the ruins of the lodge where his family died, and upon finding Mischa's remains, he gives her a proper burial. He also unearths the dog-tags of the deserters who killed his sister. One of them, Dortlich, shows up and attempts to kill him but is incapacitated by Lecter. After he buries Mischa's remains, Lecter forces Dortlich to reveal the whereabouts of the rest of his gang, then decapitates him. Dortlich's blood splashes on Lecter's face. He wipes it off with his hand, then seemingly lost in thought, he licks the blood from his hand.
Lecter begins his search for the rest of the men responsible for Mischa's death. In Fontainbleau, he visits a restaurant that belongs to Kolnas. There, he sees Kolnas' young daughter, who is wearing Mischa's bracelet. Lecter tucks Kolnas' dog-tag into her pocket for her father to find. Dortlich's murder has put the rest of the group on alert and, because of the similarity to the butcher's murder, causes Inspector Popil to renew his suspicions about Lecter. Grutas, now a sex trafficker, dispatches a second member of the group, Zigmas Milko, to kill Lecter at the medical school. Lecter kills Milko instead, drowning him in formaldehyde inside his laboratory. Popil talks with Lecter about his suspicions that the young man is hunting down the men who killed his sister; Lecter suggests that as both of their families were killed in the war, then both he and Popil could be among the murder suspects. Later, Lecter meets with Lady Murasaki; they kiss and are on the verge of beginning a physical relationship, when she begs him to stop his quest for vengeance and to forgive the men who killed his sister. Lecter turns away, saying that he cannot promise her this, as he made a promise first to Mischa.
Lecter invades Grutas' home and attacks him, but Grutas is rescued by his bodyguards. Grutas then kidnaps Lady Murasaki and telephones Lecter, using her as bait. Lecter recognizes a sound in the background of the phone call: the sounds of Kolnas' birds from the restaurant. He goes there and plays on Kolnas' emotions by threatening his children. Frightened, Kolnas gives up the location of Grutas' houseboat. Although he has promised to spare Kolnas for his children's sake, Lecter kills him when he grabs for a gun. Lecter confronts Grutas on the houseboat. During their final confrontation, Grutas claims that Lecter, too, had consumed his sister in broth fed to him by the soldiers. He jeers that now Lecter must kill even more people -- including himself -- to keep this fact a secret. Enraged, Lecter carves an "M" for "Mischa" into Gruta's chest and abdomen. With the still-living Grutas groaning on the floor, Lecter professes his love to Lady Murasaki. Horrified by his behavior, she says, "What is there left in you to love?" and flees from him. The houseboat explodes and is incinerated. Lecter, assumed by all to be dead, emerges from the woods. In the final scene, Lecter has traveled to Canada, where he hunts down the last member of the group, Grentz.
- Gaspard Ulliel as Hannibal Lecter
- Aaran Thomas as young Hannibal Lecter
- Gong Li as Lady Murasaki
- Dominic West as Inspector Pascal Popil
- Rhys Ifans as Vladis Grutas
- Helena-Lia Tachovska as Mischa Lecter
- Kevin McKidd as Petras Kolnas
- Richard Brake as Enrikas Dortlich
- Stephen Martin Walters as Zigmas Milko
- Ivan Marevich as Bronys Grentz
- Charles Maquignon as Paul Momund
- Ingeborga Dapkūnaitė as Mrs. Lecter
- Beata Ben Ammar as Madam Kolnas
- Pavel Bezdek as Dieter
- Goran Kostic as Pot Watcher
- Robbie Kay as Robert Kay, Kolnas's son
Hannibal Rising received generally negative reviews from film critics, though Ulliel's performance as Hannibal was generally praised. The film garnered a 15% approval rating from 143 critics—an average rating of 3.9 out of 10—on the review-aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, which said, "Hannibal Rising reduces the horror icon to a collection of dime-store psychological traits." Metacritic provides a score of 35% based on reviews from 30 critics, which indicates "generally unfavorable" reviews. The film was nominated for, but did not win, two Golden Raspberry awards. They were for Worst Prequel or Sequel (lost to Daddy Day Camp) and Worst Excuse for a Horror Movie (lost to I Know Who Killed Me).
The film opened at #2 in the United States with $13.4 million, less than half of the $33.7 million opening of Norbit which was released during the same week as Hannibal Rising. In its second week of release, Hannibal Rising dropped to #7 at the U.S. box office, making $5.5 million, a 59% drop from the previous week. It dropped out of the top 10 U.S. grossing films in its third week of release at #13 with $1,706,165 in revenue, a 69% drop from the previous week. After a theatrical release of 91 days, the final total North American domestic gross of the film was $27,669,725, less than the opening weekend gross of both Hannibal and Red Dragon ($58,003,121 and $36,540,945, respectively).
The DVD was released on 29 May 2007 and sold 480,861 units in the opening weekend, generating revenue of $10,574,133. As of August 2009, the film has grossed $23,242,853 from DVD sales alone. Blu-ray sales or DVD rentals are not included.
- "HANNIBAL RISING (18)". British Board of Film Classification. 15 January 2007. Retrieved 10 September 2013.
- Harvey, Dennis (8 February 2007). "Hannibal Rising". Variety. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
- Hannibal Rising, The Numbers
- Hannibal Rising, Box Office Mojo
- Hannibal Rising at Rotten Tomatoes Flixster
- Hannibal Rising at Metacritic CBS Interactive
- Gwyneth Paltrow finds "Country Strong" a struggle (Reuters), 21 December 2010 Yahoo! Movies: Movie News
- Hannibal Rising – DVD Sales. The Numbers. Retrieved on 2010-12-22.
- Official website
- Hannibal Rising at the Internet Movie Database
- Hannibal Rising at Box Office Mojo
- Hannibal Rising at Rotten Tomatoes
- Hannibal Rising at Metacritic
- Cinefantastique Online Review