Product V

film 4 of 5


Film Review by Dean Duncan Jun 17, 2015

The bookends are impressive. Bang, and then that Godardian red coloured background, with the emphatic, primitive lettering on it. On the other hand, Hanna might have been better if it were less emphatic. There are some interesting resonances concerning the conflict between nature and culture, and the appeals and limitations of both. It’s actually a step forward in the exploration of the feral child myth. Kaspar Hauser, but different. Or, it’s a home schooling parable! Remove the DNA nonsense, the generic cracks about bad government and the ridiculous evil lady antagonist, and you’ve got a nice early ‘70’s paranoid thriller. They’ve certainly got those impressionistic Vilmos Zsigmond photographic qualities going.

Which brings up the fact that this whole movie might be an excuse to fetishize this stunning, other-worldly, high-elf-from-Middle-Earth actress. (Is casting Blanchett an inside joke of some kind?) There’s actually/probably something a bit unseemly going on here. Ronan is not quite a little kid anymore, but she nearly is, and the film’s fixation on her is at least partly erotical. Nothing like girls with guns—or guitars—especially when they’re barely out of their adolescence! In connection, notice this strange girls-in-bed interlude (in contrast to the psychotic homosexual guys).

All that said, this fetishized little girl’s bloody escape from the holding centre is pretty stupendous. And in other news, she actually runs and moves like a regular person. Fiction and problematics aside, this is a partly a documentary about a cool 16 year old person.