A pink taxi

A pink taxi

July 21, 2011

Hanna, the film

Every decade needs its prototype alternative action movie. Just last night, my family found Une Femme Nikita playing on prime time French TV because it is a Luc Besson classic and blockbuster the French are proud of. We all watched it, my kids for the first time and my husband and I, a few times too many since the first time in 1990. (We didn't know each other then).

Eight years later, and perhaps in celebration of Nikita, which set the trend of strong fiesty James Bond women (not the ones he seduces!), came the German flick Lola Rent. The heroine was a punk with the strength of Wonderwoman. The soundtrack was intrumental and hip. I went alone, tried it, loved it, dragged my husband. It was like Speed without the bus! How Lola ran against time, held a bank, got the money before the deadline.

Hanna is a mix between Nikita and Lola Rent, a very contemporary version of both. My elder brother recommended it to me highly. He also spoke highly of  the Chemicals Brother soundtrack. My brother wrote: " the soundtrack is woven into the movie's fabric in all the fight scenes, and even discreetly lending itself to the narration. No one is soon to forget the infamous "The Devil is in the Beat" which implants itself in your mind a long time after you've left the movie house. "

The film met my expectations. It had a super cast, with Cate Blanchet as a sadistic official in search of renegades that we approve of. Her role could have been covered by Jodie Foster or better yet by the icy presence of Nicole Kidman. But Cate Blanchet can maintain her stamina of evil attitude with ease.

However, the stupendous acting and physical presence came from budding actress, once Oscar winning, Saoirse Ronan, who played with the vigor of Lola Rent, the casual violence of Nikita and even the conniving actions of Robert DeNiro in Cape Fear! Her Nordic features and wavy signature hair and especially her young age, made for special heroine.

A superb summer flick, albeit a very artsy alternative one. What a coincidence that Femme Nikita was playing on tv the night before.


  1. Every year brings a sleeper movie: a movie without much fanfare that ends up becoming one of the best movies of that year. Hanna is the sleeper movie of 2011! I wouldn't be surprised if Hanna reaches cut status like La Femme Nikita.

  2. Correction to comment above: it should read cult status not cut status.