We are introduced to Hanna’s killer instinct in the very first scene of the film. In the cold wilderness of Finland our protagonist played by the Irish actress Saoirse Ronan (Atonement, Lovely Bones) displays a stern portrayal of a child-killer. She tracks her prey, with a bow and arrow she kills the beast and begins to skin it. In her moment of distraction, she is attacked by Eric Heller played by Eric Bana (Troy, Munich). We learn the attack is actually a training session for the young assassin.
The lesson is to adapt or die.
Hanna is not your ordinary child growing up in Finland. She is in fact part of a pet project of secretive CIA agent in a plot of creating the next super soldier. The agent, Marissa Weigler, is played by Cate Blanchett (Elizabeth, Lord of the Rings Trilogy) who betrayed Eric Heller and left him for dead. As the scenes in Finland progress, Hanna is curious of the outside world, especially the sound of music and for her to leave the nest she must be prepared to hunt as a hawk.
There is two sides to our little Hanna. While on her mission to kill Weigler, the first attempt was a success but on a body-double yet, Hanna ventures out to Berlin to meet her father. It is in these moments -- her interaction with the modern world of television, electricity and boys -- she is the most vulnerable.
Her inner child or our human nature tells us she is still a child. The concept of human nature and innocence of a child is explored in the many scenes following the first part of the film. Hanna’s time in Finland is metaphorically Plato’s cave, and after her departure we the metaphysical nature of good and evil.
In the movie “Hanna” our protagonist has a change of heart when learning of her origin in the Grimm’s house. Again, the dark nature of Grimm’s storybook stories as the backdrop of the final parts of the film is telling. In another violent scene, Heller battles three menacing would be killers at a park-for-families at a Berlin apartment complex.
It is the question presented in the movie “The Boys from Brazil” a child cloned for evil intentions grow up to be evil itself? Are children capable of misguided cruelty? Is it in the child’s nature or part of a grandeur system? It is heavily implied that Hanna acted on her father’s life lesson, “To adapt or die.” Human nature, of course.