Monday, April 15, 2013

Hannibal - episode 2

hi there

you may be pleased or displeased to learn that i do not have any intention of an episode by episode guide to Hannibal appearing here. that may be quite a cocky comment from my good self, i have no idea how many people read the first one and were either interested or offended by what i said. anyhow, i thought for those of you interested i'd give some views on how it's moved on so far.

i will, ahem, for the most part be avoiding the 'meat' of the episode, so to speak, but for those who are searching for info on Hannibal on the web and yet do not want to know anything about what happens please consider a *** SPOILER WARNING *** to be in place for pretty much the rest of this post.

there was a bit of a danger of, you may recall, the series turning into Hannibal and Will Graham cruising around, solving crimes, shooting people and maybe 50% of the duo eating them. this, rather thankfully, has been averted. the relationship between the two seems to be moving into the realm of confidant/mentor and of course sheer trickery as was suggested by the novel Red Dragon.

slightly less good news is that the show is now overtly indicating that it's set in the present day. blogs, tablets / iTwats, digital recording equipment and all sorts of 21st Century opulence are at the forefront. this "alternate universe" thing, a rewrite of what we know of Hannibal, irks somewhat. for Hannibal Lecter to be who he is in the sense that the audience understand he has to have lived through World War II.  they can, and probably will, bypass all reason for his actions in this series, but as us avid fans of Thomas Harris are, you would have thought, the bulk of the target audience for this, it's a strange path for them to take.

still, Hannibal is Hannibal, and with the correct writing and the correct acting, even the most simplest of innocent actions by Dr Lecter can make an audience whince from fear of what might come next.

this is certainly never, ever more true than when we have a course in cuisine from Dr Lecter. unlike last week when it was fairly obvious, this week you really have no idea what, or if you will who, he is serving up to Jack Crawford. one suspects it might not be what Lecter tells him it is, but also it seems unlikely that it is who the audience is led to conclude it is. well, watch it and that last bit will make sense.

Michele, my (considerably) better half, is wrestling with seeing anyone other than Anthony Hopkins play Dr Lecter. she's certainly enjoying the show, but finds herself distracted by Mads Mikkelsen being, well, not a Welsh actor. this is, alas, the massive brick wall that this show will put up for a number of viewers. to this i say fair enough, but let us hope not too many viewers drop out as a consequence and this stunning series gets to run its natural course.

i will say this, though - in a more innocent time, free of thousands if not millions of opinionated types like me doing blogs, Robert De Niro somehow managed to take on the iconic role of Don Corleone in a prequel to The Godfather and no one went ballistic saying "how can he play Brando's part?". for me, in my opinion and all that, Mads Mikkelsen is doing a brilliant, perfect and downright terrifying job in the part of Dr Hannibal Lecter. give him a try, you may like what you see.

not at all open for question by anyone, surely, is Hugh Dancy as Will Graham. he is fantastic in the part and, if perhaps only in these early stages, the one who carries this show to greatness.

no doubt as the series goes on the focus will shift a bit more towards the title character, but for now, to borrow from a teaser trailer for one of the films, Will Graham has no idea who Hannibal Lecter is, let alone what he is capable of. as the audience goes in to this with foresight on that front, there's a huge level of discomfort in watching Lecter toy with an unaware Graham.

in this episode there are a couple of most impressive sequences featuring Hannibal do his thing (no, the other thing, getting into the head) of Graham. one can only assume that more such scenes will be coming our way, with the series being less reliant on guns and gore.

OK, i will probably be posting more on this TV series, most likely when the Eddie Izzard episodes feature. going on the hint of him in the trailer, though, it might well be one of those "crowning moments of excellence".

is it just me, or does it look quite like Mr Eddie Izzard could well be playing a certain character called Miggs? i don't know, just a wild guess.

well, there you go. in closing for now, all i can say is that two episodes in Hannibal is the best thing i have seen on TV since they cruelly took FlashForward away. watch it.

be excellent to each other!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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