Starz has been showing Hannibal quite a bit this month. When I first saw it listed in my guide, I was naturally excited. I love these movies. Hannibal Lecter is one of the most charismatic and likable “villains” ever portrayed, and Sir Anthony Hopkins does a FANTASTIC job.
Now, I admittedly haven’t seen Hannibal in a few years. Though Silence of the Lambs and Red Dragon (my least favorite of the series) play very often, Hannibal doesn’t make it’s way across my tv very often. And while I always loved these movies, I’ve recently started seeing them in a little bit of a different light.
I discovered something about myself that forced me to text my best friend in a panic… knowing she would be the only one who would understand.
Now, stick with me on this.
While I can go into an entire tirade on the love story that is Hannibal and Clarice, I have other things to write and I don’t have the time, so we’ll focus on the last 30 minutes.
We have Hannibal who has just been captured by the insane man that wants him to die in the most horrible way, and has been plotting said death for YEARS (obsessed much?). Enter Clarice, Knight(tress) in shining FBI badge who saves the day, but in the process ends up getting shot.
This doesn’t stop the madman (who oddly enough, is not the cannibal serial killer) who is hoping above hope that his plan will still be carried through. But, the only thing that’s carried… is Clarice. In the midst of the melee, Hannibal frees himself, lifting an unconscious Clarice above a sea of murderous beasts, with little to no concern for his own safety. He calmly begins strolling out of his prison, Clarice in arms and tells the madman’s exhausted minion that he can feel free to kill him…
“You can always say it was me.”
Naturally, Cordell takes him up on this offer. But it’s not the offer thats the great part. It’s the fact that it was honestly the fact that this was an afterthought, a byproduct of an argument overheard. This man, who had orchestrated every part of Hannibal’s attempted demise, was met with a “meh” kind of an end. This becomes important later.
Now, we see Hannibal driving Clarice off to an undisclosed location while she slips in and out of consciousness. Flash to their arrival. Hannibal (who is a doctor… lest we forget) is seen tending to Clarice’s gunshot wound. He removes a bullet, and fixes her up with a perfectly beautiful … blanket stitch or whatever the hell you call that thing… whatever it was… it was ridiculously precise and absolutely gorgeous as far as stitches go.
Now, I know you might be thinking… “Why are you going on and on about someone stitching up a wounded woman?” Let’s remember… this wounded woman has been HUNTING him… trying to put him in PRISON…. FOREVER. Some of y’all are sitting next to a dude right now who wouldn’t go to a store and buy you a pack of tampons cuz the thought of you bleeding naturally “freaks him out” gtfoh.
Now, we see Agent Krendler, a misogynistic, disgusting asshole who has been the bane of Clarice’s existence the whole movie, yelling at his asst on the phone while driving his obvious “penis car” to his house in the middle of nowhere. He’s instantly chloroformed by Hannibal. (this is important later)
Clarice is lying on a bed… dressed BEAUTIFULLY, a single votive burning on the nightstand, and the ceiling fan rotating at a moderate pace (for her comfort, no doubt). She struggles to sit up, obviously drugged. It is at this moment that we notice that she is dressed in an outfit picked out of a magazine by Hannibal especially for her. Let’s talk about this outfit for a minute.
It’s beautiful. It’s even sexy… in an extremely classy way. Black halter with a low back, but tea length with fairly sensible strappy sandals. Now… not only does Hannibal have good taste, but this also shows forethought and planning. He had to ORDER SHIT!
And let’s talk about the fact that she was clearly undressed and redressed WITHOUT being molested in the slightest! Hannibal Lecter, in all his insanity, is above the base degradation that apparently resides in some of our more famous athletes, entertainers and politicians… but I digress.
As a woozy Clarice is stumbling around… Hannibal… is in the kitchen… COOKING!
Clarice happens upon her stuff, next to a telephone that’s been disabled. But she’s a smart lady, she works around that. Now, it’s notable that while she gave fleeting attention to the gun on the table, she never picked it up. It isn’t clear whether or not the clip is there, but no matter what, she chooses not to pursue using her gun as a means to ending this confrontation bound to happen. So, she gets the phone to work, and it’s one of those older model phones with the lights along the bottom, to let you know when it’s in use. Whilst cooking, Hannibal notices the illumination, knowing that Clarice is obviously using the phone… and not likely checking on movie times.
He checks his watch… then CONTINUES CHOPPING PARSLEY. He knows Clarice’s unwavering ethics. It’s one of the things he admires most about her. He knows she’s called for backup and he simply adjusts his time accordingly. He accepts Clarice as she is, and accepts the obvious limitations to their relationship.
Think about the last time you broke up with a dude. How many of you were NOT called a bitch, or a whore, or told you were no good in bed anyway?…. moving on.
Clarice takes one last look at her stash of belongings and makes her way down the stairs. As she approaches the dining room (where the voices are coming from)
“Clarice, what are you doing up? You should be resting. Get back to bed.”
Clarice enters the dining room and Hannibal is there, cooking table side, with Agent Krendler in attendance (obviously drugged out of his mind)
Now, All the alphabet organizations are on their way to the house… Clarice had intentions of bashing Hannibal over the head with a snow globe, and what does this man do? Takes the time to compliment Clarice on how she looks.
This entire time he is STILL calmly cooking….
He asks Agent Krendler to say grace… which quickly turns rude and disparaging towards Clarice.
“Paul, now you’re being rude. And I hate rude people.”
He hands Clarice a bowl a broth, and she tries a noble attempt at stabbing him. She’s easily overpowered, but instead of being angry, once again, he accepts that she has to try to detain him by any means. His punishment? he wrestles the knife from her, and gives her a not so sound wrap on the hand with said knife… a proverbial “slap on the wrist”. He loves that she’s so dedicated. He adores her purity of spirit.
It’s at this point that he takes off Paul’s hat, revealing that he has sawed the top of his skull off, to reveal his brain (such as it is) still residing inside his head. Paul is still mildly coherent, moving around, talking and such. Understandably uneasy at the sight, Clarice attempts to shift attention away from whatever Hannibal has planned. He immediately attempts to put her at ease, assuring her that Paul feels no pain.
She offers to trade him information in exchange for letting Paul be, and though very subdued, we see Hannibal’s first sign of temper. Not because she insulted him, and not because she doesn’t want him to do “his favorite thing” but because what she’s attempting is something so obviously beneath her, and in defense of someone who is, in his mind (and mine) a scumbag.
It’s at this point that he cuts out a portion of Paul’s brain, and begins to fry it… then proceeds to FEED IT TO HIM… while Clarice watches.
It’s at this point that I would like to backtrack a little bit. Let’s talk about Mason Verger. This man spent countless hours and dollars in an attempt to capture Hannibal, so he could sit and watch as wild boars tore him to pieces and ate him. Hannibal nonchalantly remarked that his assistant could feel free to kill him if he wished. The officer that snuck around trying to help in this capture, was disembowled and pushed out of a window to hang (all in all, a fairly quick death). The street thug who tried to get Hannibal’s fingerprint as proof of life was stabbed, a major artery hit, and bled to death (again fairly quickly).
Paul Krendler, who had never met Hannibal, didn’t really put any kind of effort into capturing him, and honestly had committed no infraction against Hannibal himself, except for the fact that he INSULTED CLARICE, and tried to ruin her career…
This man he drugged… sawed off the top of his HEAD… cut out a piece of his BRAIN… and FED IT TO HIM!!!!
Y’all are not hearing me… let’s continue.
Hannibal and Clarice have a discussion in which he asks her if she would deny him his life. He talks about her courage and incorruptibility and how she doesn’t need acceptance from the FBI or a medal for proof.
“All you would need for that, Clarice… is a mirror.”
Dude… for real?! I need a hero.
Now Paul, unable to leave well enough alone, chimes in, throwing more shade at Clarice. Realizing that time is running short, and that Paul is upsetting Clarice (also the fact that he’s officially made his point) he takes Paul away and starts cleaning up.
When is the last time your man did the dishes? Just… saying.
So, Clarice picks up a candlestick for what is to be the final showdown.
After a sexy little tussle (the refrigerator move was awesome) he asks her
“Would you ever say to me ‘Stop. If you loved me, you’d stop’?”
She tells him no… because as he does for her, she accepts him the way he is, and somewhere deep down respects and admires many things about him too. He of course loves this answer. He kisses her, and we hear the click of handcuffs (clearly the one thing she did decide to take from her belongings upstairs… where the hell was she hiding them, though?!) meanwhile, a single tear rolls down her cheek. She can’t change who she is… she has to do this.
He’s not even mad. At some level, he probably expected this. He asks her twice for the key. At an impasse, he grabs a cleaver, holding their hands together on the chopping block. This is all fun and games, but Clarice is now actively standing in the way of his freedom.
“Above, or blow the wrist, Clarice?”
I mean, you can’t blame the guy. If you were faced with spending the rest of your life in a 10×10 cell with no windows and little access to anything that might keep you sane (relative term, I know) what would you do?
I’ll tell you what Hannibal did.
“This is really gonna hurt.”
He cut his hand off.
Yeah… read that again. Let it sink in.
He cut… HIS… hand off!
There are dudes out here that can’t even be bothered to reply to a text… and this man, CUT OFF HIS HAND… instead of hers, to gain his freedom.
He was literally… sitting on a plane… WITHOUT A HAND! Leaving the woman trying to put him in jail… COMPLETELY in tact!
Now, make no mistake. I have no desire to be in a long term, long distance relationship with a serial killer or psycho, and especially not a cannibal. However, I reserve the right to say that…
That was downright sexy and romantic as hell.
What can I say… I’m an old softie 😉
Fortunately, I have friends that understand me.