Ok, back to a movie review. I have had a somewhat strange relationship with Thomas Harris' series about Hannibal Lector, in that I have neither watched the films in order of their release, or chronologically. Dispite this, I felt confident watching Hannibal Rising, expecting that I would not feel too alienated. I was pretty much right. I think I only spent about 20 mins of the film asking "Did we know this already?" "Did he say that to Clarice?" etc. It is all about the early childhood and early adulthood of Hannibal Lector. Painting the picture of a sweet boy turned by the consequences of others and the world situation. Mostly.
As a stand alone film I thought that this was a decent movie. It's always a challenge making a movie about development and the beginnings but this movie handled the subject well. The pace was right, not a rush through early years, but a detailed look at specific moment of impact on Hannibal's life and decisions that he made. Gaspard Ulliel made a perfectly chilling and skin crawling Lector come to life with a permanent smug grin etched on his face. There is always a lot of expectation when handling an iconic (?) figure such as Hannibal Lector and so I'm sure this movie didn't suit a lot of people's theories about the young life of Hannibal. However, it grabbed my attention, the story was well written and made sense, and although grisly violence, it was never included for the sake of "lets throw in a violent scene to push the rating up". Although this movie has none of the intrigue and suspense of Silence of the Lambs, it is a decent "beginnings" film and fits nicely into the saga.
Comments: Watch Silence of the Lambs first, the watch this. Then watch Silence of the Lambs again.