12/12/2015

Hannibal (2001) ***1/2

Fresh off re-reading the novel and having not seen this film for over 10 years, I have to say that, while I still think it's great, it's not nearly as great as I remember. Gary Oldman is a scene stealer, but Mason Verger's demise is much more interesting in the novel. Margot Verger's omission was a poor choice. And the climax of the film is but a shadow of the novel. In general, everything just feels truncated. The sequence where Hannibal is caught by Mason's hired thugs is completely different in the film as well and stems from a whole newly-written sequence which just isn't terribly good.

All that said, I don't expect films based on books to be 100% beholden to their sources and there is much to savor here - including facial expressions, the still excellent Mason makeup, and some dialogue made more concise.

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