Hannibal – TV Series (2013)
Running Time: 43 minutes per episode
Created by: Bryan Fuller
Starring: Hugh Dancy, Mads Mikkelsen, Caroline Dhavernas, Laurence Fishburne
Hannibal is based on the characters created by Thomas Harris for his novel ‘Red Dragon.’ The series follows Will Graham (Dancy), an FBI special investigator and criminal profiler who is requested by Special Agent Jack Crawford (Fishburne), the head of the Behavioral Sciences department, to help with a serial killer investigation. Will has a special gift in profiling killers, and this is mainly due to his ability to empathise with anyone. So, the show begins with the case of Garrett Jacob Hobbs (Cubrt), and his daughter, Abigail Hobbs (Rohl). And as Will dwells deeper into a range of murder investigations, Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Mikkelsen) is appointed as Graham’s psychiatrist to ensure that Will is fit and able to continue in assisting the FBI. As the episodes unveil, so does Will and Hannibal’s relationship, as their chess game begins.
As a huge fan of the Hannibal movie series, it was hard to resist this show, and at first it was a little doubtful since Anthony Hopkins did such a wonderful job with his portrayal of Hannibal Lecter, and the directors of the films have done an incredible job as well to tell the story. But, after the first few minutes into the first episode I was hooked. I love the way the directors and cinematographers of the series have chosen to tell the story. The colours were always dark, with tinge of blue and at times orange filter throughout to give the show a cold and grim feeling. The cinematography was beautifully shot from the very first episode till the last. I think that really captured my attention because at times it didn’t feel like a show, it felt like a 2 hour film. The characters’ costumes were simple and help depict the characters’ personalities and what they were going through. The other thing about the show that I really fell in love with was the design of the sets, and the makeup department. Never before was there a TV show so gruesome and realistic that it was difficult not to flinch or squirm at the sight of the victims or crime scenes of every episode.
The writing of the show was very important because of the original creation of the story had always been so consistent that it must have been difficult to write something on the same par that would satisfy fans of the original series, and to attract new fans. I think the creator, Bryan Fuller and writers did a wonderful job creating such an intricate storyline, filled with new crime scenes in almost every episode, yet carry on with a general plot line, and create a believable and intriguing relationship between the characters, especially Hannibal and Will. Up till the last episode I was still on the edge of my seat, trying to figure out the agenda of the characters and the game that Hannibal is playing with Will and the rest of the FBI.
I think the cast was well-chosen, there was a definite chemistry between all of the lead actors and actresses. I have point out Hugh Dancy’s portrayal of the empathetic Will Graham must have been difficult, it was a complex character to wrap one’s head around, even more when you have to portray one. It definitely took a while to get used to the idea, but I think Dancy delivered a wonderful performance as Will Graham, especially the last few episodes of the series. Mads Mikkelsen casted as Hannibal Lecter was constantly under the scrutiny of the fans of the original series, and I think he did a wonderful job as the charismatic, intelligent and cunning psychiatrist. The control of his facial expressions throughout the show as more and more is revealed every episode was amazing. There was a consistent calmness to his portrayal up till the last moment of the final episode where you could finally see a leak in his expression that is a signature of Hopkins’ portrayal.
There were a few notable guest appearances, in particular I really enjoyed Eddie Izzard’s guest appearance as Dr. Abel Gideon, I thoroughly enjoyed those episodes. A few of the notable episodes from the show are Aperitif, Sorbet, Fromage, Buffet Froid, and Roti.
I think the series finale was written extremely well, as a few things were revealed about the characters and the story, but it left us with the curiosity and the craving for more. I cannot wait for what the writers would concoct for the next season. Here’s to more Hannibal to come!
Rating: 9 ½ out of 10