Director: Joe Wright
Cast: Saoirse Ronan,Eric Bana,Cate Blanchett
A young girl breaks out of her frighteningly isolated existence to discover not only that there is such a thing as electricity– oh look,theres a fan,and thats a TV,and a telephone actually makes a noise when it rings but also that she is party to a monstrous deception involving DNA codes,the American government,a ring of spies,and bad people who are out to kill her.
The thing with Joe Wrights beautifully shot movie (the opening scenes are nothing short of spectacular) is that it never really feels true. Even if we were to swallow a patently ridiculous tale of how a man and a young girl have managed to stay off the radar of one of the most efficient agencies in the world when it comes to finding and tracking people,its even harder to believer that a teenage Hanna (Ronan) would be able to break out of a maximum security facility in a faraway desert,trek through Morocco,and fetch up in Berlin,all without turning a hair. After,of course,dealing with some fearsome thugs on the way.
If Wrights film keeps us engaged,its because he is a master when it comes to creating atmosphere. The film opens with a hunting scene ( Hanna killing a deer in the snow and filleting it ) that has beauty and menace in equal measure,and the grungier parts of Berlin come alive when she and her father ( Bana) are on the run from the gun-toting rogue CIA agent ( Blanchett). Neither Bana nor Blanchett make too much of their roles. It is the very talented Ronan ( Atonement,The Lovely Bones) who steals this improbable spy story away from her more experienced co-stars. She makes us watch.