Hannibal Wouldn’t Have Worked Without One Small Real-Life Detail


NBC’s sequence Hannibal set itself aside in the best way it used visible world-building to intensify its story. Many viewers might not have observed these refined particulars, however they elevate the present by including an additional stage of nuance and care to the general sequence. Showrunner Brian Fuller drew from Thomas Harris’ gothic, psychological novels fairly than the well-known films The Silence of the Lambs, Red Dragon, and Hannibal. The end result was surreal horror, layered with a multisensory, stylized magnificence.


The character of Hannibal Lector was barbaric, a cannibalistic assassin, and but he exuded class. This was showcased by the inside design of his residence and workplace, his mannerisms, his private model, and, not surprisingly, his cooking. Though he was a psychiatrist, Hannibal the cannibal completely lacked empathy. This contrasted sharply with Will Graham, whose intense empathy and vivid creativeness made him an efficient investigator but in addition compromised his sanity and set him as much as be Hannibal‘s main sufferer.

Related: Why Mads Mikkelsen Wasn’t Sure About Playing Hannibal

Hannibal Needed Its Incredible Costume Detail

What distinguished Hannibal most visually was the costuming. These decisions have been deliberate, and Christopher Hargadon, the costume designer for Hannibal, used clothes to convey deep character traits and plot shifts. Small particulars are rife within the sequence, akin to Franklyn Froideveaux, a affected person of Hannibal’s, mirroring Hannibal’s costume to point out his growing obsession with Hannibal. Frederick Chilton, the final administrator for Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane the place Will was housed for a time, does the identical factor as he steadily mimics Hannibal, however Chilton’s audacious ill-fitting plaids did not measure up. His dangerous style was evident towards Hannibal Lector’s impeccable style.

Most tv exhibits put costumes on their characters by merely selecting one thing that may look good, not bothering to make use of costumes to reinforce the present’s storytelling. Hannibal might have been completed with atypical fits and “cop fashion,” like every of 100 procedural crime dramas, however it could have misplaced a key part: the visible impression of the characters’ wardrobes. Hannibal Lector in an affordable go well with would not have been practically as terrifying. It was his sharp, managed, and structured look that spoke to his methodical, but inventive, nature, and collectively they made for a deeply unsettling villain.

How Hannibal’s Costumes Reveal Character And Plot Details

hannibal mads mikkelsen

Every character in Hannibal had a “look,” that clearly recognized them. This look would subtly change given the temper or surroundings the character discovered themselves in. Will Graham, early on, dressed primarily in earthy tones, sensible and purposeful, although because the story progressed, he started to commerce his fly-fishing vests and rumpled jackets for tailor-made wool coats and sweaters, mirroring Hannibal as he turned increasingly drawn in. Will’s early rough-shod, throw-on-anything look mirrored his battle together with his internal demons. He was terrified and disgusted with the darkness inside him. As he got here to just accept and embrace this darkness and Hannibal, his clothes turned extra put collectively, extra polished.

Hannibal Lector’s wardrobe was dominated by patterned three-piece fits, elaborate ties, pocket squares, textured shirts, and slim-legged pants. His clothes was one other manner for him to manage his narrative and the way individuals understand him. His personal psychiatrist, Bedelia du Maurier, referred to Hannibal’s costume as his “people suit.” He would change this intentionally to slot in, akin to when he visits the FBI in episode certainly one of season one sporting a beige go well with and sweater.

Related: American Psycho & Hannibal Use The Exact Same Horror Character Trick

The girls on Hannibal aren’t any exception to the costuming rule. Alana Bloom, a former pupil of Hannibal’s, was succesful and assured, however her clothes additionally started to emulate Hannibal’s fits. She transitioned from female wrap attire to blazers with sharp traces. Freddie Lounds, a cutthroat journalist, wore a wide range of prints, primarily these of harmful and predatory animals. In one scene, she seems in Hannibal’s workplace sporting a jacket that appears like marbled meat. This was Freddie Lounds “armor.”

In Gavia Baker-Whitelaw’s Behind the Seams episode Dressed to Kill: The Costume Design of NBC’s Hannibal, she decodes the clothes decisions in Hannibal and illustrates how they tremendously intensify the storytelling. The darkish operatic drama of Hannibal wanted a dose of shade, and every rigorously chosen costume offered it whereas revealing refined particulars in character and plot.

More: Hannibal: The Secret Meaning Of Every Murder Tableau Explained


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