Hannibal Rising is the prequel to the popular Silence of the Lamb
series that features Hannibal Lecter as a flesh eating serial
killer. This movie adaptation is based on the novel by Thomas Harris
that explains the madness and motivations behind this genius.
The tale begins in Lithuania during World War II as the Lecter
family castle is about to be swarmed by Nazis and the seeds of
Hannibal's (Gaspard Ulliel) cannibalism is planted when he witnesses
a gang of local collaborators slaughter his sister Mischa (Helen Lia
Tachovska) and feed parts of her body to Hannibal.
After this disturbing scene (fortunately much of the disturbing
content happens off screen), the movie moves to post-war France
where Hannibal is studying to become a doctor at university and is
housed with his recently widowed aunt, Lady Murasaki Shikibu (Gong
Li). With their incestous relationship growing, Shikibu attempts to
focus Hannibal's energies on them, however Hannibal is driven by
revenge in this clichéd thriller.
The tale is directed by Peter Webber who fails to successfully link
this movie to the original films from the refined Anthony Hopkins as
Hannibal Lecter to this Eastern European Nazi hunter bent on
revenge. Viewer discretion.