Talented criminal profiler Will Graham (Hugh Dancy), has a unique method of thinking that enables him to empathise with anyone. This includes psychopaths, but while supporting the FBI to apprehend a complicated serial killer, he comes to the conclusion that he needs some assistance. So he recruits the brilliant psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter (Mads Mikkelsen). They become allies and it looks like that there isn’t a killer they can’t catch together. Lecter hides a dark secret, his brilliant mind has gone to the other side and he has more in common with these killers than anyone realises.
NBC’s Hannibal is one of the best choreographed shows in recent years and I think it will go down in history as a classic despite its unsavoury themes. It’s about a guy who kill his victims in the most inhuman ways possible and on occasion, serves their organs to his dinner guests passing it off as a common cut of meat. It’s so well put together as a crime drama with horror elements rather than having a scarier Hannibal like in the 2001 movie starring Sir Anthony Hopkins.The horror element in the series is the sheer brutality of the murders yet that can be passed off as a common theme in modern television but also the eyrie music in the show’s introduction theme and in the score by Brian Reitzell.
Mads Mikkleson as Hannibal is more elegant than Hopkins yet they are both great in their own right. He conducts all his murders with sheer brutality yet with precision and grace in the way they are displayed. He puts them all on display like a work of art in the Louvre. By the time the series has finished, we have witnessed a menagerie of his victims. He is saying to the world that “I am an artist. I will keep on killing to quench my thirst for art”. Each of his kills are picturesque and magnificent to look at. Yes, these people are dead but you can’t help but look at them in awe and think “this guy is talented”. They are masterpieces.
Hannibal loves his art so much that he wants everyone else to see it. His belief that it is only art and not a crime. The art of killing is mirrored against his love for the finer things like expensive food and his clean kitchen. He enjoys food a lot to the point that he cares about the food he cooks. The food and Hannibal are one. He won’t taint the food as he sees it as waste. His cooking is as artistirc as his killing.
“I didn’t poison you Tobias. I wouldn’t do that to the food”
There aren’t many profanities in Hannibal but they make up for it with the gore factor, sheer acts of brutality and the countless numbers of psychopathic/sociopathic characters that are introduced on the show, such as renowned British comedian Eddie Izzard delivering a great performance as Dr Abel Gideon.
Many said Hannibal would make a terrible series. They are now eating their words. The series stands tall as a stunning example of what can be done on network television. The gore isn’t a messy dish. It’s cut finely and it’s like looking at a Van Gogh painting. It’s glorious. Even though, it’s been cancelled now, Bryan Fuller has done extremely well at getting to three season before getting sliced and diced by the network. It’s a show about someone who kills and eats his victims. Four season would have been the limit. People don’t want to watch shows of this nature because it’s grotesque and it’s something that you watch on your own, not with others. You can’t watch this with your friends. There’s a time and a place.
Let’s talk about more of the epic violence. Do you want to know how horrific the show can be? It’s pretty amazing that the series can give us a punishment so foul that the audience can feel that Fuller has gone too far despite Mason being a cold-hearted pedophile. Michael Pitt (Boardwalk Empire) would make a great Joker but now we have Leto so this won’t happen for a while. His enjoyable dramatic performance as Mason allowed us to view him as a psychopathic, insane, crazy, wacky villain for the first time. In the end though, he wound up as Harvey Dent. This ended up with Hannibal hooking him up with a potent psychotropic drug and then persuading him to slice off his own face, piece by piece. You think Ramsay Bolton is bad. You haven’t seen anything.
Well that’s enough blood and gore for one day. That’s just the entrée.