The Silence of the Lambs begin the first of five installments that delved into the mind of one of the most perplexed yet deeply disturbing characters of all cinematic history. Starring Jody Foster and Sir Anthony Hopkins, the film sent chills and shrills through the movie going audiences worldwide. The sheer gravity and horror the plot and storyline perpetuated were nothing like anything seen before at the time of its release.
The successful original film is based on the novel by Thomas Harris. And, five installments later the attempt to recapture that dynamic in Hannibal Rising has failed dismally at the weekend box office opener. What is worst is that it also fails to impress fans of the long-standing franchise that held great anticipation for the terrifying and calculating Hannibal Lecctor as young and very troubled man.
The first installment featured the mature aged sociopathic psychiatrist Dr Hannibal with an appetite for humans. The cannibal Dr. Hannibal “The Cannibal Lecter” as he was called met his match in the courageous Clarice Starling, a young FBI trainee, when she is sent to see the imprisoned Lecter to ask his expert advice on catching a serial killer given the name Buffalo Bill, who is abducting women and skinning them.
Hannibal Rising, a prequel to Red Dragon, The Silence of the Lambs, and Hannibal, takes the audience step by step into the events that lead the young Hannibal into becoming the infamous serial killer of the previous films and books. The younger version of Hannibal and take on the older cannibal Hannibal meets with an enormous yawn rather that a thriller bang.
Gaspard Ulliel plays a frightening depiction of young Hannibal. Gaspard Ulliel, a French actor and former male fashion model, tries hard to bring a real psychotic element to the Hannibal’s beginnings as pure evil. There is intensity about his portrayal of Hannibal. From the minute Ulliel takes his first breath and utters Hannibal’s first words there is no mistaking that he is young Hannibal, but it fall short just the same.
Ulliel began appearing in made-for-television films during the late 1990s and early 2000s and has since become known as a film actor in France. He has done the prequel to several other prequels justice. Whether or not the moviegoers will agree remains to be seen. Starring in the lead role of the infamous character and even more horrifically known film will see a bright future for the actor and his rising career. What this prequel sequel does for the Hannibal tale on a whole is clearly not good.
The critics have been also less than impressed. The masses of movie fans of the infamous “cannibal” character have not flocked to the movie theaters may be in indication that another Hannibal just might not be in the offering any time soon. Early box office tickets sale shown the Norbit film starring Eddie Murphy was the clear winner in the opening weekend at the box office.
Hannibal not making the top weekend spot says more about the moviegoer’s lack of interest in the Lecter prequel saga. Another lector succeeds only at struggling to find its audience. The overestimation of the film’s release also saw Hannibal Rising take a disappointing $13.35 million at the box office.