Red Dragon

Cast
Hannibal Lecter: Anthony Hopkins
Will Graham: Edward Norton
Francis Dolarhyde: Ralph Fiennes
Jack Crawford: Harvey Keitel
Reba McClane: Emily Watson
Molly Graham: Mary-Louise Parker
Freddy Lounds: Philip Seymour Hoffman
Universal Pictures presents a film directed by Brett Ratner. Written by Ted Tally. Based on the book by Thomas Harris. Running time: 124 minutes. Rated R (for violence, grisly images, language, some nudity and sexuality).

Central Theme
Evil men aren’t born that way but are created through long-term abuse; to apprehend then you must understand them; to understand them you must learn to think like them; to learn to think like them you must become them in your imagination; to become like them, even in your imagination, is almost unthinkable.

Story
Will Graham put Hannibal Lector behind bars and retired. He is regularly called back into service to solve particularly challenging cases, because he is imaginative in approaching the profiling process — he seems to be able to ¢â‚¬Ëœget inside’ the mind of the criminal.

His newest case involves a brutal murderer who is just getting started, but has already killed two families with eerie ritualistic procedures. He kills the pet, and then kills everyone in the family except the mom. He breaks the household mirrors using the pieces of broken glass to cut out the victim’s eyes. He only kills when there is a full moon. He identifies himself by carving a symbol of the ¢â‚¬Ëœred dragon,’ which is a character that appears in Chinese mythology, in the Book of Revelation, and in the work of poet/artist William Blake. The victims are miles apart and don’t appear to know each other, so how did the killer choose his victims? Will goes to Hannibal for help, later learning that Hannibal is the ‘red dragon’s’ hero.

The menacing Hannibal, the deranged Francis, the seedy and tenacious reporter Freddy Lounds and the blind and vulnerable Reba are interrelated in ways that unfold throughout this well-told, suspenseful story. The revelation of a back-story to explain Francis’ psychosis brings a level of understanding and even sympathy for a cold and insane killer whose hero is Lector and nemesis is Will.

We continue to see Lector’s distorted theology and the misuse of scriptural references by Francis. Religion is useless and for the most part absent except as it feeds the psychotics and their psychosis is the product of abuse not any evil nature carried to extremes. In this sense the story line fails to deliver what the movie’s poster promises, ¢â‚¬Ëœunderstanding the origin of evil by going back o the beginning.’ The true pursuit of the evil one would lead to the Garden of Eden where evil is taken seriously and is more than the product of a bad upbringing.

Beliefs num
–Evil embodied is the result of ling-term abuse and not any evil nature in humans.
–God is useless in combating evil.
–Scripture is primarily useful to psychotics looking for justification for their evil acts.
–It takes an evil person to truly understand another evil person.

Questions Worth Discussing num
–Is evil the product only of an abusive upbringing?
–What is the attraction of Hannibal to viewers of these films?
–Why are we drawn to dark stories like this one?

Provocative Quotes byline
–To understand the origin of evil you must go back to the beginning.
==Poster.
–Think to yourself that every day is your last; the hour to which you do not look forward will come as a welcome surprise.
==Hannibal quotes Horace at a dinner party.
–He is not collecting body parts. He’s eating them.
==Will to Hannibal.
–You are a remarkable boy. I admire your courage. I think I’ll eat your heart.
==Hannibal attacks Will.
–Revelation 12:3 the great red dragon.
==Notation in Francis’ Journal.
–You’ve got that other thing. Imagination. Projection.
==Jack to Will on why he needs his help with the new serial killer.
–This one will never see me or know my name. I’ll be in the back of the pack, I promise.
==Will to wife Molly.
–The pieces of mirror make their eyes look alive. He wants an audience while he touched her.
==Will about the killer.
–He won’t stop because it makes him God. Would you give that up?
==Will to FBI agents on the criminal.
–You say you are a layman but it was you who caught me. Do you know how you did it?
==Hannibal taunting Will.
–You had a disadvantage. You’re insane.
==Will to Hannibal on how he caught him.
–I do. I have oodles.
==Hannibal on how much time he has.
–You stink of fear. You caught me because we’re very much alike. Without our imagination we’d be like all these other dullards.
==Hannibal to Will.
–My love to Molly and Josh.
==Hannibal’s regular farewell to Will mentioning his wife and son.
–A robin redbreast ion a cage puts all of heaven in a rage.
==Hannibal quotes William Blake.
–The important thing is what I am becoming.
==Francis.
–If I hear from you I may send you se=something wet.
==Francis to Hannibal.
–Will you tell them what I am becoming? I am the red dragon. Before me you rightly tremble. You owe me all.
==Francis to Freddy.
–He has made me understand his splendor and now I want to serve him.
==Freddy’s last words.
–Did you enjoy your first murder? Why shouldn’t you? God does.
==Hannibal.
–Transformation is the key for the man dragon.
==Hannibal explaining Francis to Will.
–No I won’t give her to you. No she’s nice. She’s OK.
==Francis conflicted about Reba.
–Sit still or he’ll hear us. He’s upstairs. He wants you. He’ll bite you to death. It’s better that you come with me.
==Francis to Reba .
–Whatever part of hi that still was human was saved because of you. You didn’t draw a freak. He was a man with a freak on his back.
==Will to Reba.
–When I read his journal I was sad. He wasn’t born a monster he was made a monster through years of abuse.
==Will to Molly
–Our scars have the power to remind us that the past was real.
==Hannibal to Will.

Posted in Movies, Staublog in October 4, 2002 by | No Comments »

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