Saturday, September 30, 2006

Character Depth - Hannibal Lecter

From Pat (GimmeABreak):

Hannibal Lecter (Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal, and Red Dragon) - One of my fave characters ever. That a sociopathic cannibal could be brought to tears by beautiful music, recall with delight the fate of a census taker who had the temerity to disturb him, behave so tenderly toward Clarice (the finger touch as he hands her the file), take such pleasure in tormenting Miggs, salivate at the thoughts of eating Dr. Chilton, patiently explain the delicate flavor of (human) brains to a child, gently guide Will Graham toward death, and disfigure himself instead of his captor (who happened to be the only person he loves or has ever loved) makes Hannibal Lecter my nominee for the most interesting and complex character in modern cinema, the only character I've loved, feared, admired, and despised all at the same time.

14 comments:

Mystery Man said...

Great job, Pat! Beautifully written, too, I must say. I knew I had to post this one pretty quick, because he would be a popular choice.

Guys, if you have anything to add to about Hannibal, the character, say it here...

-MM

miriamp said...

Hannibal is definitely somebody all of us wish we could be.

Good one, Pat.

Mystery Man said...

I don't know about you, Pat, but that comment from Miriam scared the @#$% out of me.

-MM

GimmeABreak said...

Since Mim's trying to juggle a zillion balls at once, including MM's project on directors, I'd wager she meant to say, "Hannibal is definitely the type of complex characters all of us wish we could write."

Of course, Mim's a meat-eater, too, so.... ;-)

Unknown Screenwriter said...

Although I love Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal, the VERY first time I experienced the character was when Brian Cox played him brilliantly in Michael Mann's MANHUNTER.

MANHUNTER is what got me to read the book, RED DRAGON.

In the scene where Hannibal (Cox) makes his telephone call and manages to scam Will Graham's actual address from the secretary, Cox knocks it out of the ballpark... ZING.

The "face" he makes immediately upon his success, says it all.

Fucking DEVIOUS.

Unk

miriamp said...

Manhunter didn't get the press it deserved.

I have a personal soft spot for Hannibal because Giancarlo Giannini is in it. I loved him in Lina Wertmuller's films in the 70's.

Silence of the Lambs also had the wonderfully complex character of Clarice Starling. Their interaction on screen was nothing short of amazing. Sexual tension, fear, fascination, respect.

And just to put you guys at ease, I ate out tonight.

GimmeABreak said...

While I liked Brian Cox's Dr. Lecter, I didn't feel the same levels of complexity from his performance. He was a glorious bad guy but that's all he was. I think much of my interest in Hannibal is a result of Sir Anthony Hopkin's superb interpretation. (I'm not knocking Brian Cox but his characters seem to be interchangable - X-2 [Stryker], Bourne Identity/Supremacy [Abbott], Rob Roy [Killearn] are the ones that come immediately to mind.)

writergurl said...

I've nothing to add about Dr. Lecter that hasn't already been covered... however, I thought y'all might be interested in THIS contradiction... in "Manhunter" the aslyum that Will Graham runs out of... is Atlanta's very respected and highly regarded High Musuem. How's that fer a kick in the pants?

GameArs said...

I have enjoyed all the films with Hannibal Lecter and especially Mr. Hopkins' portrayal. Great choice for this blog topic!

Kroms said...

He never really glides Will Graham towards death, just towards a pitiful waste of a life, no?

Mystery Man said...

Sure. I wouldn't argue that point with you.

-MM

VOOSH said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
VOOSH said...

I absolutely adore Cox's interpretation of the Lecter character. But to compare his portrayal to that of Hopkins' is unfair, considering the amount of screen time they had compared to each other. Having said that, personally I prefer Brian Cox's performance for it's subtelty and complexity. As I write this, Manhunter is on the television in the background. Oh, and I just noticed a newspaper in one of the scenes that spells Hannibal's name as 'Leckter'.

Mystery Man said...

Voosh - Thanks for that. Very nice to meet you.

-MM