Hanna begins with the titular character hunting reindeer in total silence. She is in a thus far unnamed woods and the cinematography is beautiful. When she shoots the reindeer with her crossbow Hanna walks up and says, “I just missed your heart,” detachedly and with melancholy. And so, to complete the kill, she has to shoot with her gun, an action that makes a jarring, noise, startling us out of our reverie.
Next, we meet a man living with and training Hanna as he tries to take her out exclaiming, “You were half asleep out there!” She refers to him as Papa as she shows him the big game she has hunted for them and we learn his relation to her. Another tell that this man is her father is their version of bedtime stories, although their routine is that he simply reads to her from the Encyclopedia Britannica and she reads Grimm’s Fairytales to herself until she falls asleep.
Soon enough we understand why they are living off the grid: they are hiding from a CIA operative named Marissa and it is Hanna’s destiny to kill Marissa so they can be without fear for their lives, creating the conflict of naïf and the wicked witch.
Unfortunately, just as it happens in Grimm’s Fairytales, things get morbid. People die, people you don’t want to die die, and good guys die. That’s just the sort of story this is and that’s just what makes it so good.
At the very end of the movie Hanna misses her mark again, and again she says, “I just missed your heart,” followed by the shot of her gun. The parallel is stark and leaves us breathless.