Hannibal Rising (film)

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Hannibal Rising

Theatrical release poster
Directed byPeter Webber
Produced byDino De Laurentiis
Martha De Laurentiis
Tarak Ben Ammar
Written byThomas Harris
StarringGaspard Ulliel
Gong Li
Dominic West
Rhys Ifans
Music byIlan Eshkeri
Shigeru Umebayashi
CinematographyBen Davis
Editing byPietro Scalia
Valerio Bonelli
Distributed byThe Weinstein Company
(Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer) (US)
Paramount Pictures (Latin America)
Release date(s)
  • 9 February 2007 (2007-02-09)
Running time121 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish, German
Budget$50 million[1]
Box office$82,169,884[2]
 
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Hannibal Rising

Theatrical release poster
Directed byPeter Webber
Produced byDino De Laurentiis
Martha De Laurentiis
Tarak Ben Ammar
Written byThomas Harris
StarringGaspard Ulliel
Gong Li
Dominic West
Rhys Ifans
Music byIlan Eshkeri
Shigeru Umebayashi
CinematographyBen Davis
Editing byPietro Scalia
Valerio Bonelli
Distributed byThe Weinstein Company
(Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer) (US)
Paramount Pictures (Latin America)
Release date(s)
  • 9 February 2007 (2007-02-09)
Running time121 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish, German
Budget$50 million[1]
Box office$82,169,884[2]

Hannibal Rising is a 2007 crime thriller/horror film, the fifth film to feature Dr. Hannibal Lecter. It is a prequel to Red Dragon, The Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal. 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 serial killer of the previous films and books.

French actor Gaspard Ulliel portrays Lecter. Anthony Hopkins played the role in three previous films, after Brian Cox became the original screen Lecter in 1986's Manhunter. The film 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 February 9, 2007. Theatrical distribution in the United States was handled by The Weinstein Company and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The DVD was released on May 29, 2007.

Contents

Plot

In 1944, soon after the Soviet Red Army had liberated Lithuania from the Nazi forces, the Nazis launch a counter-assault. During this time, a family from an aristocratic background, consisting of eight-year-old Hannibal Lecter, his younger sister, Mischa (Helena-Lia Tachovska), and their parents, quickly escape to the family's hunting lodge. After the Nazis take over at Lecter Castle, six Lithuanian militiamen (played by Rhys Ifans, Richard Brake, Ivan Marevich, Kevin McKidd, Stephen Martin Walters, and Goran Kostic), who want to join the Waffen-SS, are told to prove their worth. Grutas (Rhys Ifans) orders them to kill the Lecters' Jewish cook. They also threaten another servant of the Lecter household, asking him if he was a Gypsy or a Jew. As this happens, the Soviet Red Army begins launching attacks to retake the area.

A Soviet tank crew stops at the Lecters' lodge, telling the Lecters to leave the house while they get some water. The Soviet soldiers allow Hannibal and Mischa to stay within the lodge, where it is warmer. The Soviet tank is then spotted by a German Stuka bomber, which sparks a firefight. The bomber is shot down by the tank, but subsequently crashes into it, and the ensuing explosion kills everyone still alive, except Hannibal and Mischa, who had remained inside the lodge.

The Lithuanian militiamen then loot Lecter Castle as the Soviet Red Army draws nearer, and soon before killing the wounded commanding officer of the Waffen-SS squad they had requested to join, Grutas announces their plan to "Go into business for themselves". The Soviet advance forces the Nazi militiamen to hide out in the woods, where they locate the Lecter lodge. Finding no other food in the bitterly cold Baltic winter, they murder and cannibalize Mischa in front of her brother, who escapes and is found by Soviet soldiers.

Eight years later, Lecter (Gaspard Ulliel) once again lives in Lecter Castle, which has been turned into a Soviet-run orphanage. He has been rendered mute by his childhood trauma. Lecter escapes the castle orphanage, gets through border controls, and goes to live in Paris with his aunt, the Lady Murasaki (Gong Li). She gets him to speak and begins teaching him the arts of flower arrangement, martial arts, and ancestor worship.

At a local market, a butcher and former Vichy collaborator, makes anti-Japanese racist remarks about Lady Murasaki. The butcher later goes fishing and is defiant when Lecter turns up to request an apology. Lecter slices the butcher's stomach, arm, and back with a katana samurai sword, and then decapitates him.

A family cook tells Lecter that the most delicious part of the fish he took from the butcher is the cheeks, unwittingly helping develop part of Lecter's "signature" as a serial killer.

Hannibal with a samurai mask.

That same evening, he is questioned about the butcher's murder by Inspector Popil (Dominic West), a French detective who also lost his family during the war. While her protege is being interrogated, Lady Murasaki places the butcher's head outside the headquarters with a Swastika carved into his forehead.

Lecter soon becomes the youngest person ever admitted to medical school in France. He receives a working scholarship, where he is given a job preparing cadavers. One day, Lecter witnesses a condemned war criminal receiving a sodium thiopental injection to force him to recall details about his crimes. In an attempt to recall the names of those responsible for his sister's death, Lecter injects himself with the solution while listening to Glenn Gould's recording of the Goldberg Variations (The same music is also heard in Silence of the Lambs). His subsequent flashback reveals that Pot Watcher had the dogtags of the other men who killed Mischa, and was then killed as the advancing Soviet forces bombed a part of the lodge. Lecter reasons that the dogtags should still be in the ruins of the lodge.

Lecter returns to Lithuania in search of the dogtags, as well as his sister's remains. While crossing the Soviet border, he draws the attention of Dortlich, who is now a Soviet border patrol officer. Lecter excavates the ruins of the lodge and unearths the dogtags of the deserters who murdered his sister.

Dortlich tries to kill him, but Lecter gets the upper hand and incapacitates him. After he buries Mischa's remains, Lecter tortures Dortlich into revealing the whereabouts of his accomplices. He then decapitates Dortlich with a horse-drawn pulley. Soviet police discover Dortlich's head, with its cheeks carved off, apparently made into a brochette.

At a restaurant in Fontainebleau, Lecter finds Kolnas's young daughter, whom he notices is wearing Mischa's bracelet. He then gives her Kolnas's dogtag. Kolnas enters the restaurant, but Lady Murasaki persuades Lecter not to kill him, for the sake of Kolnas's children.

Dortlich's murder, along with Kolnas' dogtag, puts the rest of the group on alert. Grutas, now a sex trafficker, dispatches a second member of the group, Zigmas Milko, to kill Lecter. Milko sneaks into Lecter's laboratory at night with a gun, but Lecter senses his presence and knocks him out with an injection. Just as detective Popil is entering the lab, Lecter locks Milko in the cadaver tank and leaves him to drown in the embalming fluid.

Popil questions Lecter about Dortlich's murder, but is again unable to establish Lecter's guilt. Popil then tries to dissuade him from hunting the gang and offers to let him go free if he helps locate Grutas. After Lecter leaves, Popil remarks to his assistant that Lecter lost all of his humanity when Mischa died, and has become "something there isn't a word for [other than] 'monster.'"

Lady Murasaki begs him to stop, but Lecter says that he made a promise to Mischa. He plants a time bomb in Grutas' home and attacks him in the bath. A maid alerts Grutas' bodyguards, but just as they are about to kill him, Lecter's bomb goes off and he escapes.

Grutas kidnaps Lady Murasaki to use her as bait. Lecter recognizes the sounds of Kolnas' ortolans from his restaurant in the background. Lecter goes there and threatens Kolnas' children, forcing him to give up the location of Grutas' boat. Lecter then says he will leave Kolnas alone for the sake of his family. Kolnas goes for the gun anyway, so Lecter impales him through the head with his tantō.

Lecter goes to the houseboat. Just as he is about to untie Lady Murasaki, Grutas shoots him in the back. Grutas then proceeds to molest Lady Murasaki. Lecter takes out the tantō, which was broken by the force of the bullet, and slashes Grutas' Achilles tendons with it, crippling him. Grutas claims that Lecter too had consumed his sister in broth fed to him by the deserters, and he was killing them to keep this fact secret. An enraged Lecter carves his sister's initial, M, into Grutas's chest.

Lady Murasaki flees in horror. Lecter proceeds by biting off Grutas' cheeks. The houseboat is then incinerated, but Lecter, assumed to be dead, emerges from the nearby woods on the shore. Lecter hunts down the last member of the group, Grentz, in Canada. After killing him, Lecter moves to the United States to begin a new life, having been accepted to Johns Hopkins Medical School in Baltimore.

Cast

Reception

Hannibal Rising received a generally negative critical reception, and did not fare as well as the previous films in the series at the box office. It currently has a rating of 15% ("Rotten") on the Tomatometer at Rotten Tomatoes, with a 7% Cream of the Crop rating.[3] It also received a Metascore of 35 ("Generally negative reviews") on Metacritic.[4]

The film opened at #2 in the United States with $13.4 million, less than half of the $33.7 million opening of Norbit[5] 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 domestic gross of the film was $27,669,725, which is less than the opening weekend gross of both Hannibal and Red Dragon ($58,003,121 and $36,540,945, respectively).

DVD sales

The DVD was released on May 29, 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.[6]

References

External links