The film Silence of the Lambs quickly became a cult classic after its release in 1991, when it broke box office records, raking in an impressive $351,692,268 (even though Jodie Foster was replaced as Clarice). The sequel features the psychopathic Dr. Hannibal Lector once again, though this time he is being hunted down by one of his former victims, Mason Verger, who swears to get revenge.
The sequel adapts Hannibal’s character in an odd way; instead of being the film’s antagonist he is the protagonist (along with Clarice Starling). The audience even finds itself rooting for Lector to survive despite his evil nature and cannibalistic tendencies. Just like its preceding film, Hannibal plays with the idea of morality. Though Lector is evil and sadistic, we prefer him to triumph over the Verger because Verger is a child molester, and wants to kill Lector out of revenge, as opposed to Lector who attempted to kill Verger to rid the world of a serial child abuser.
Hannibal also delves deeper into the theme of romance. In Silence of the Lambs flirted a bit with a romantic tension between Hannibal Lector and Clarise Starling: but it was more of a fascination on both parts. In Hannibal, Lector and Clarise share several romantic-esque moments when Clarise attempts to save Lector’s life, and he in turn rescues her.
In class we talked about how villains are often disfigured, which it is interesting to note that the villain of Hannibal (as opposed to it being Lector in Silence of the Lambs) is horrendously disfigured. This mutilation makes him more of a villain because we don’t relate to him. Most people despise of child molesters, which makes us relate to Lector and demonize Verger.
…sleep well tonight