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Saoirse Ronan And Joe Wright Revamp A Fairytale With “Hanna”

Piya Sinha-Roy |
April 8, 2011 | 8:35 p.m. PDT

Senior Entertainment Editor

Hanna (Focus Features)
Hanna (Focus Features)
Don’t be fooled by Hanna – she may look sweet, but if you find yourself on her hitlist, you might find yourself in a tight spot.

Described as a contemporary twisted modern fairytale, “Hanna” follows the story of a girl raised in primitive settings by her fugitive father in the heart of a Siberian wasteland.

Trained from birth to be an assassin, Hanna’s mission is to find the woman who sealed her fate before her birth.

What comes next is a journey littered with escapes and scraps as Hanna finally enters the world she has been taught so much about, but has never seen.

Ronan’s talent is key to bringing Hanna’s innocence, naivety and intelligence to the big screen.

With her piercing blue eyes and nuanced expressions, Ronan is able to embody the essence of a modern day virginal heroine, and brings an endearing likeability to Hanna.

Ronan is joined by Eric Bana, who plays her runaway father, and the father-daughter relationship is very real despite the surreal settings that are forced upon them.

Cate Blanchett yet again delivers a solid performance as Marissa, the government agent in charge of a program that created Hanna. Wright modeled the character on an elementary school teacher who wore pencil skirts. The southern accent is rumored to be based on George Bush, but Wright just said that as a Brit, he found the Southern accent sexy.

As with previous Wright-directed films, the score plays an important role, and Hanna is no different. Teaming up with the incredibly talented Chemical Brothers, Wright has produced some heart-pounding thriller scenes to a feet-stomping score.

The film's idyllic beauty is down to Wright’s trademark aesthetic, something that has caught the attention of fashion house Chanel, who used Wright to direct their Coco Mademoiselle fragrance ads with Keira Knightley.

In “Hanna,” each scene is juxtaposed in its beauty or grime, and whether it is in the snowy wastelands, or sandy deserts or the council estates of Berlin, Wright creates a stage fitting for a twisted fairytale.

What is enticing about “Hanna” is that it is a very different film to anything out at the moment. Artistic but not pretentious, Hanna rivals “Black Swan” in beauty but surpasses most films in its story.

It is unique, mystical, emotive and thrilling, and as Wright and Ronan pair up for the second time (the first time in “Atonement”), “Hanna” is an exciting direction for both the director and the young starlet to take.

Reach Senior Entertainment Editor Piya Sinha-Roy here, and follow her on Twitter @PiyaSRoy.
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