Sunday, 19 June 2016

Hannibal the Cannibal TV-series revisited; The end (Cotains spoilers)

This is a continuation post to this one. (Hannibal the Cannibal)
 If you haven't read it I suggest you to do so before this one!
It doesn't contain heavy spoilers.

Lind said this season three promo poster looks like "Vampire show for older ladies".
I think it looks like some kind of crime fighting movie. You know, Die Hard stuff... Eww...
(Picture is taken from google)

We didn't really know what to think when we saw season three of Hannibal TV-series on Netflix. We thought to ourselves that we were not fans of season one and even less of season two but we couldn't have left it there even though we would had wanted to. So, we watched it and I don't really know what to think about it to be honest. We would say the third season is worst one of the bunch. It's not easy to say because it had some great things which I will cover on below.
It wasn't surprise really but all in all it wasn't bad experience. We love that they could bring so
artistic TV-series to mainstream. We really appreciate that bold move.
Besides, Hannibal is always Hannibal and Mads is amazing.
This is sort of review so naturally it is containing spoilers.

Hannibal in his casual outfit but not for long.


So, what are the problems? 
(I am listing positive things below)
First let's take a look at the strange story structure and story.

First four episodes only repeat what has happened before in a very artistic way.
Episodes only push story forward margin amount. They're just there because of... Art, maybe?
What a strange way to start an season and I thought beginnings are supposed to be a reason to watch more. Who knew, right?

But suddenly out of nowhere... Episode five: Boom! Story flies forward and in next two episodes
Hannibal is captured by the police and put in a private cell. Then the most
strange structural decision of the series strikes. Large off screen time warp. Between episodes seven and eight, apparently three years have passed and everything is different.

Pass of time is only told at the beginning of the episode eight by odd montage of some sort which introduces new antagonist; Francis Dolarhyde, the red Dragon.
Wait who what? Will has a family all of the sudden? A wife and a son?

Yes, Will has a wife all of the sudden.

The Red Dragon

Time passing itself hasn't been the strength of this TV-series let me tell you but this was so odd.
From this point on for couple episodes story just references past time aka what has happened during those three years. Why is everyone referring past time constantly?
(Hot tip of the week: Referring to past time in a film (with a dialog I must add) is the absolute
worst way to tell a story. It's what amateurs do. You can do it bare moderate amount,
 and it must be done really well but all the time? No.)
You're doing a film for crying out loud. Not a freaking book. Show instead of tell.

One more thing to add is how fast time suddenly flies for the rest of the season. Pace changes completely. It's like speed of light and you're not a captain if you excuse my poor metaphor.
I mean you don't know where you are heading. Maybe that's psychological aspect? Who knows!
For example between very random time warps there's six minute scenes of torture.
You would think that creates interesting pace but no. It actually makes opposite by making difference in so large scale that it's confusing even to an upcoming professional.

 Conversation of the minds. 

Series didn't always explain some parts of the story or just left them heavily on backseat. I found myself explaining story to Lindworm because series didn't do so.
If movie/animation student who is going to do this same thing for a living does not get the point how could an amateur understand in a million years.
(No, you don't learn to make movies by watching them.)
I could explain the story quite well because I am huge fan of the franchise.
To say it shortly, on episode 7 and up episodes are considered structurewise as a new season.
So, technically there's two seasons in one season. Confusing enough?

Secondly: Key elements are missing.

After episode six when the Hannibal is locked up all the amazing cooking is gone.
All the beautifully made special effect make up corpses gone. Why?!
They were the selling point, the best part, one of the core ideas of Hannibal!
No, you can't do this to your viewers!
(Sure there are some corpses but they're nothing spectacular.)

After the capture Hannibal becomes ultimately passive of a character for the six up coming episodes. I mean, what can you do when you're locked up in a ultimate security prison? But the series lost its key elements in the process. Yes, that's storywise accurate, absolutely, but couldn't it had been made without removing key parts that actually made the show stand out?

(excluding the psychological aspect that remained through the series.)
After watching the season three it made us wonder; Were the first four artsy episodes there only to showcase Hannibal more. You know, the guy the show is named after?

Some of the rare "beautiful corpses" of the season.

 I mean sure there are corpses killed by Red Dragon but they're just messy.
Boring. Like in a basic crime series.

Some of them are okay but mainly because on cinematography

One thing must be said before jumping into a positive things: it's about characters.
 They changed in a weird way again.
Most noticeable thing was that suddenly, everyone were cannibals.
Hot tip number two: Among humans, cannibalism is NOT an diet. It's a SEXUALITY.
Unless you're talking about extremely rare modern day cannibalistic tribes.

About the positives...

Story wasn't as predictable as past seasons. It was quite much different actually. All though most of the things happened without any clue and out of nowhere it was better... Kinda.
For example some of the motives were quite surprising and even hinted at some point.
It was nice.

Next we need to throw out is gay card. Hannibal's and Will's relationship
escalates to extreme male bonding and even romantic during the season.
Once again, great and bold move from a TV-series. Very fitting as well because
Hannibal as a character is really "gay" all though his sexuality is something more complex.
You can't really hate show that promotes human rights by including them
 to the mainstream television.

 This screencapture doesn't seem like much but dialog is very "Brokeback mountainy".
If you don't know the movie, watch it.

On a side note: Series introduced lesbian relationship as well which is great but
sadly, it left the main focus (aka romance between main characters) in its shadow because long, "out of nowhere", artistic lesbian sex scene. Nothing wrong with lesbian sex of course, it's just shown
way more in mainstream television than any kind of male bonding. It's becoming a cinema convention but not because human rights but lesbian porn that mainly is focused to men, the "biggest audiance". We were surprised why lesbian couple didn't have any romance. They just had sex...

Homosexual aspect (Hannibal and Will) meets its climax at the last episode's last minute.
The ending was so dramatic, the acting was amazing. Mads' acting was so honest and so pure
it was absolutely stellar moment.

Will and Hannibal working together again... Subtext is something imaginative.

All in all good ending even structurewise if the romance was the point.
In our opinion it wasn't. It was point of the last season, yes but not the whole show's.

Hannibal was granted a three season production funding. This is nice because three seasons are easiest and most perfect amount to make an three act story (which 95% of any show contains).
 Each season has its own dramaturgic arc plus another arc that is in relation with upcoming seasons. Meaning that season one is the first act of the whole story. Sounds complex? Sorry. :<
So dramawise season three's climax should be two climax at once: Season's individual climax AND the whole story's climax which ties up every season.
Romance to us was not the point all though ending of second season hinted towards it greatly.
We are going to watch season one again some day and see if the homosexual aspect is there
hidden well. I hope they have. It would be nice.

In conclusion to this... Umm... Rather rambling(?!?!?) post. I can say it was a good show.
What I did not cover for example acting didn't change since season one; it was good acting.
All though series was mainly artistic and little less story focused we enjoyed it.
It's nice to look honest art of cinema. You never get bored of it really.
I still recommend you to watch this series. It's good. Not the best but worth watching.

Thank you for reading! Hope you enjoyed and maybe learned thing or two.


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