Oh GOD, this movie pissed me off so much.
First off, I know it's useless to compare a film to its literary counterpart. I know. Trust me, I know...Everyone's first instinct is to point out the little differences and favorite parts that were cut out. It's to be expected when you turn a 1,000 page, hell, even a 300 hundred page book into a 90-120 minute film, something's got to go. But with Hannibal...they took away the entire meaning of the book!
Upon my almost-mother-in-law's advice, I read the book before going to see the film. I *loved* the book. I started on it Valentine's Day (Wednesday) and had devoured it by the following Sunday. After reading the ending, I was just stunned...happy stunned, amazed by the soul revealed in Hannibal and Clarice's subsequent seduction of that soul. It was the happy ending to end all happy endings - even better than The Princess Bride. (Before you say it, I know it - I'm depraved.) The ending of the film nearly killed me. I was comatose for an hour after leaving the theater. It just sucked ass. Hannibal cannot leave without Clarice...what the fuck is the point of that? So in the film, Clarice is left with no job, no reason to live, nothing. Hannibal flees, handless, alone - though feeding brain to a small child cheered me up somewhat. Right now, I blame Jodie Foster. She rejected the first script, because of the content. So they wrote another one. It was too late to get Jodie, but they stayed with that lameass script anyway. It is also the fault of the average American film-goer. Every film that's put out these days panders to the lowest common denominator...if I had only lived in the 70s, when boundaries were actually pushed, instead of enforced...I'll stop now, because I am just too pissed off on that subject.
I was also pissed that they entirely cut out one of my favorite characters - Mason's sister Margo. If they would have just had her in the corner, I would have been content...but I did want to see that eel go down Mason's throat...though I can't complain about his being eaten by the pigs - nice. I was even content with the special effects for Mason's face...even though I had pictured grosser in my mind.
Another fucked up thing - we went to see this in the middle of the day, during the week, hoping for a nice, empty theater. Nope - some stupid white-trash couple brought their kids to see Hannibal. The damn baby was mewling throughout the whole film and I'd bet a thousand bucks that their pre-schooler is scarred for life. If I would have seen someone's brain being eaten at that age, I'd be even more fucked up than I already am. Thankfully, someone got up and complained and a pimply teen escorted the melwer and father out of the theater. What is wrong with these people???
All in all, I did enjoy the rest of the film - the tension was there and though slow, an interesting interpretation. I really just imagine, over and over in my head, that it ended with a bang instead of a whimper.