Hannibal begins with a lengthy prologue detailing Clarice's fall from grace within the FBI. Just when her career seems to be over, a mysterious benefactor comes to her rescue. He is Mason Verger (an uncredited Gary Oldman), whose "family's political contributions aren't enough to buy him a senator, but they are enough to rent one from time-to-time." Verger was one of Lecter's victims – he survived his encounter with the doctor, but at the price of a horribly disfigured face. Now, he wants Clarice back on the case because he plans to use her as bait.
Acouple of other observations as made from the movie are listed below in bullet points.
- Relation of Clarice Starling with Hannibal Lecter, the mental chess between evenly matched players drawn together by a perverse yet fatal attraction. This relationship, the most compelling aspect of the movie silence of the lambs, is absent in this sequel
- Dr. Lecter is witty, urbane, suave, of exquisite taste, and yet unnervingly cold blooded as usual; making him a one of the most fascinating villains; a role played with riveting force by Anthony Hopkins.
- Dr. Lecter is undoubtedly the most powerful character in the story with the role Clarice reduced to that of a mere side role. The absence of the intense and endlessly fascinating tussles between her and Dr. Lecter in a eye to eye mind game is conspicuously absent.
- Jodie Foster was sorely missed in the movie, but one can understand her refusal to do a compromised and severely undermined Agent Starling’s role.
- Anthony Hopkins, delivers another one of those knock-out punches, all through the movie putting life into the character
- Particularly loved the last couple of scenes, smelling of intriguing levels of emotions and crystallized by powerful characterization
- The part where Dr. Lecter asks Clarice if she would ever ask him to stop with love. And on the answer ‘Not in a thousand years’ he enigmatically replies, ‘That’s my girl’
- Then when he continues to kiss her and in the process gets handcuffed by Clarice; tears streaming down her eyes. And the fact that the flames are kindled both ways evident when Dr. Lecter says ‘This is really going to hurt’, a tear trickles down his hand and he proceeds to chop off his wrist (implied). Somehow reminds me of the movie Gone with the Wind, where love is depicted so cryptically complexly especially when seen through glasses of reason.
- The part where Dr. Lecter explains the cuisines in his box to the curious kid and on his insistence on having the human brain preparation, exclaims ‘You are an Interesting Kid’. Further when Hannibal finally accedes to his request telling that ‘Like your mother has told and my mother has definitely told me, we must always try something new’
At end of it it was a move worth watching, though a tad bit of lower profile than its predecessor, 'Silence of the Lambs', thoroughly enjoyed watching it, especially with the performance of Anthony Hopkins and the powerful role of his character. Will give it a rating of 7.5/10