this is some next level british grandma carpeting
|-|| Thomas Harris, Red Dragon
After catching up with the first season of Hannibal a couple weeks ago, I went back and read Red Dragon. Then I re-watched the movie with Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal and Ed Norton as Will Graham. (Then I started Hannibal's second season. This has been a month full of serial killers and cannibalism.) I'd been thinking all week about the three different Will Grahams and how they do or don't fit together, but it didn't click into place until I went back and thought about this line.
For context, this is from the point of view of Francis Dolarhyde, the main antagonist (not counting Hannibal Lecter) in Red Dragon, right at the climactic moment of the book where the FBI figures out who they’re after thanks to one of Will Graham’s much-touted leaps of intuition. I first encountered Will Graham in the movie adaptation of Red Dragon, and Ed Norton plays him pretty straight: you get some head-clutching and some montage scenes of him staring at crime scene photos, but for the most part Norton’s Graham is a traumatized but otherwise normal cop, a man’s man whose reluctance to re-engage with the FBI is (at least on its face) about protecting his family rather than about protecting his own mental health. Put another way, Norton’s Graham is kind of boring. He’s smart, sure, he’s good at his job, but re-watching the movie I remembered how I didn’t used to get why everyone around Will was always acting like he was indispensable. For me, when Red Dragon the movie is compelling, it has nothing to do with Will Graham and everything to do with Hannibal Lecter.
And that’s when I realized why (or part of why) I’m so much more interested in this latest adaptation: from the very start, literally from the first scene of the pilot of Hannibal, Hugh Dancy’s Will Graham is pointedly not a regular cop. The series opens on him walking us through a multiple murder in first person. Even before he starts having serious encephalitis symptoms, even before he kills Garret Jacob Hobbes, Dancy’s Will is unambiguously monstrous. He relives horrifying murders in gruesome detail, he knows things about how these serial killers think that other characters don’t, and (unlike Harris’s or Norton’s Graham) his claims that “it’s all in the evidence” are on balance pretty unconvincing. And that “this is my design” catchphrase is not meant to make anyone feel comfortable.
Hugh Dancy’s Will Graham is the first iteration of this character I’ve ever encountered who really lived up to Dolarhyde’s assessment, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that NBC’s Hannibal is the first version of this story where the relationships between all the characters really make sense to me. Jack’s vacillating between trying to protect Will and roping him in further makes more sense because I actually believe that Will’s doing something no one else can. Dr. Bloom’s elaborate contortions to avoid accidentally psychoanalyzing him make more sense (though that’s also because in this version we’re admitting the Dr. Bloom character has a crush on him). Hannibal’s obsessive interest in Will makes more sense, too, because it makes more sense that Hannibal is arrested in this way by someone whose way of understanding the world is so ostentatiously opposite from his own. (Except when it’s not, and that just makes him more interesting). (via postmortemtsarina)
if my blog ever convinced you to watch a tv series
- you’re welcome
if i was a dragon, tell me in my ask box what you think i would hoard as my treasure :-0
2013: A year for looking great.
I’ve grown so much this year. I’ve really begun to discover who I am and who I want to be. Thanks for coming along.