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Sunday, August 2, 2015

Review Hannibal 308 Give Red Dragon A Hug

A review written with the book Red Dragon by Thomas Harris in the hand, ethical knowledge in the head and an illegal internet source giving the eyeful.

The screen brings violence back where it belongs - in the home, according to Alfred Hitchcock, late filmmaker of horror movies. As a volunteer in theatre, witnessing a lot of onstage domestic quarrels - scarsely brutal violence - and as random TV and film watcher - too much violence, I say it is better to vent anger elsewhere or otherwise, like physical in acting or sports, or mental in storytelling, by analysing and exposing the mechanism of violence.

As nature would have it there are souls out there who take violent acts as an example of how to be more violent. Hannibal and Will Graham, the two murderous leads even impose others. Newbie Francis Dolarhyde is a fan of Hannibal. Reading the book, which was first published in 1981, I wondered where it all went wrong. The book drops news bits through dialogue and discription. The TV series does it with visual eyefuls and in different order. Yet the characters are what they are.
Of Hannibal it says he is a intelligent, evoking psychopath who is locked up for life, yet stabs eyes out in an unforseen moment. Will Graham is a similar soul and both have conversations on thought provoking murder investigations. Francis Dolarhyde is described as a curious loner, who has a facial disformation - a cleft lip - and childhood traumas. Now Francis Dolarhyde also collects newspaper clippings of  'Tooth Fairy' in a scrapbook....

The TV series presents Dolarhyde in moving images. Moving in two meanings. Emotionally touching, because his face is badly misformed and he is by himself. Moving, not speaking. He works on his body. Flexing to gain strength. Gets himself a tattoo and scary dentures. Makes impaired vocal noises with dentures in. He distroys the mirror, because he can not bare to face his image. Apparently he either wants to change his current state of existing or he has given in to his urges. He sits reading a newspaper, crawing his hands. The images only paint the mood of these moments. Whatever he does, it is extraordinary. It all looks so heartbreaking. Best to run from him we learn when Will Graham enters the brutal murder scene of the 'Tooth Fairy'.

Most clues were given in images. Aesthetic, clever visuals which could be explained best by someone who knows their history of film finesses. The moon references caught my attention. Hitchcock-style cinematography repeats of hidden themes. Three times the camera zoomed out forming one thing into the next, such a flashlight into a big white round - moon. A visual gem for a Fannibal. Later on it was said that Dolarhyde murders on full moon nights. A real breathtaking gem was when Will Graham was at the murder site and the camera panned round him to get the background - forming two wings of red dreads - in place. New meaning to the 'Great Becoming of the Red Dragon'. The best scene was not when Dolarhyde was flexing in his attic. No the best scene was the projector fight scene. It went from Dolarhyde watching film on his projector. He then gets mental and fights the material, getting film around his head, then stands still, beaming light from his eyes and mouth. Becoming the projector!?

Hold on, I have seen this one before. 

Yep got it.

The crux of the matter is that Dolarhyde is played by a handsome actor - he disagrees - who was damaged by prosthetics professionals. So the acting tragedy must be underneath the broken image. The internal story was so heartbreakingly on display, that next clipping of Tooth Fairy will thus be 'Fannibals are Armitaged.'

Dolarhyde searching for his contact lenses.


Quote of the week
More like a dog-like croon of the single vowel between O and U

Eyeful: Dolarhyde flexing. I know RA looks gorgeous! Still to see him like that after his comments on a clip of him sporting Speedos in a infamous Canadian chat show, I never thought he would repeat it - albeit in a better dressed shorts.
Prop: scary dentures
Don't get: why he is so messed up
Disturbing: the abundance of blood in the murder scene with explicit details.
Wanted to see more of: Dolarhyde's nakedness in frosty moonlight
Flashbacks: Hannibal having comfortable chats in cell vs. Italy
Clever: references in visuals: three moons, Graham in red dreads as wings of Red Dragon, overlay of images on crime scene when flashlight shines on it and in shadow, showing the corpses and the police markings as visual remnants of the crime scene
Best scene: the projector fight scene. I have seen similar image before. Other inside jokes from the horror genre were spotted so I was told, but then I am not into that, although I liked Twin Peaks.
Hope: Dolarhyde finds love. Poor him, pre-internet days in this Hannibal universe.
Verdict: empathy, not sympathy for Dolarhyde

Images: Hannibal promotional pictures, screencaps, monster 

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