So I watched Hannibal last night. It’s rare I actually make time to catch a broadcast like this, but I love the Lecter series. I read my mother’s copies of the first two books as a teenager, long before I saw Manhunter or Silence of the Lambs on TV.
The show is badly miscast. While I like Hugh Dancy’s Will Graham, the other cast members are just throwing me off. Lawrence Fishbourne is a capable actor and I’m actually looking forward to him as Perry White in this summer’s Superman movie. He worked well in CSI and we don’t even need to mention the Matrix movies. Jack Crawford seems an ill fit for him though. I can’t put my finger on it. Perhaps he’s too cool – too clean. Crawford should be a grizzled veteran FBI agent. Direct and to the point, in suits with washed out colors and ties that came off the rack with no thought towards fashion. Fishbourne has always just felt too….affable. I don’t like it.
By far though the biggest offender here is Lecter himself. I’m not married to the image of Anthony Hopkins. Really I’m not, though I’d have to admit he is the definitive performance and anyone else has nigh impossible shoes to fill….still, Brian Cox managed to do a perfectly serviceable job – and years before Hopkins ever came near the role.
Mads Mikkelsen’s accent is incomprehensible. I have to struggle to understand what he is saying half the time, quite a surprise too. I rarely notice accents. This needs to get better or grow on me REAL quick.
The accent is just part of the problem though. He comes off far too cold. Lecter is always intelligent, refined, but also engaging. Warm in his own way. He’s easy to love as long as you don’t offend him. Mikkelsen is just…. there. It almost feels that in an attempt to give a performance that is distinctly different from Hopkins, he failed to check out the source material (not only the movies, but the books as well).
The writing is excellent. The story is engaging and the dialogue rings true. I can see these characters saying these words. I bet they look dynamite in a script. The delivery just kills them. I’m so dissapointed, this is tragic.
From the trailer at the end, I like where the series is going. I do think they should put less emphasis on Hannibal eating. It’s funny, but the cannibalism always seemed like a minor part of the books, a necessary shock and motive but not a driving component in any of the stories. It’s just a fact of life for the gourmet.
Otherwise we get Graham sinking deep into the profiles he’s doing, the partnership between him and Lecter and the relationships beginning to form. I really like the story, I just hate the cast and I’m hoping the series can overcome this, otherwise I’ll be jumping ship after the first couple episodes.
Maybe I can just find the scripts and read those instead. Something to think about while I create next week’s Violent Blue.