I went to see Hanna this weekend and left the theater amazed. I had hoped from seeing the preview that it would be based on fairy tales, and I was not disappointed. But, we’re not talking the Disney-sequins-dressed-princess-and-charming-prince-type fairy tales; we’re talking difficult-lessons-learned-through-failure-Grimm Brothers’-gritty fairy tales. A fairy tale with real heart. The best kind.
The entire story seems based on an amalgam of the Grimm Brothers’ stories: Snow White, Hansel and Gretel, and Little Red Riding Hood, to name a few. The daughter without a mother. The single father raising her. The wicked queen and her loyal, devious, but ultimately useless oafs. The cabin in the woods. The fortress that must be escaped.
And of course, the final climactic scene between innocent good and jaded evil. In this case, at an amusement park, that leaves it all out there, nothing hidden.
The amusement park, known in the movie as Grimm’s Amusement Park, could not make this movie’s references to fairy tales any more obvious. Hanna’s mission is to get to Grimm’s house. It is a fairy tale that takes place in an amusement park whose theme is fairy tales. The park, in reality, is called Spree Park, and it is in East Berlin, Germany. It was deserted in 1999 and, as explained on Focus Features’ website, it was chosen by the director, Joe Wright and the production designer, Sarah Greenwood to be the surreal and haunted location of the major scene in the film.
Once we arrive at Grimm’s Park, forget any subtle allegory. The evil queen emerges from the wolf’s mouth. She’s evil, and fair Hanna is good. Who will adapt and who will die?
Also, it is coincidence that Cate Blanchett’s character, the devilish CIA agent, wears Prada shoes? Brilliant!