Monday, 12 July 2010
The Girl Who Played with Fire / Flickan som lekte med elden
Dir: Daniel Alfredson (The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest / Luftslottet som sprängdes)
Cast: Noomi Rapace, Michael Nyqvist, Georgi Staykov, Lena Endre, Peter Andersson, Yasmine Garbi, Paolo Roberto
Seen: July 8, 2010 - special advance screening at Scotiabank
Reason to see: The first film in the trilogy, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo / Män som hatar kvinnor was fantastic and therefore this title landed in my Most Anticipated Films of the Year (Part 2!) List
There are two very important things to know before seeing The Girl Who Played with Fire / Flickan som lekte med elden. First, it is clearly Part 2 coming after The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo / Män som hatar kvinnor and therfore you need to Part 1 first. The second thing to know is that The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo / Män som hatar kvinnor is a film I've called easy to praise, but hard to recommend as it is an extremely hard film watch and includes xtreme violence, sexual violences, torture, disturbing imagery & ideas. But, if you can make it through those warnings, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo / Män som hatar kvinnor is one of the best films of the year so far. Sadly, The Girl Who Played with Fire / Flickan som lekte med elden does not live up it's predecessor.
Both Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyqvist reprise their roles of hacker Lisabeth Sander and journalist Mikael Blomkvist respectively, which I was very exited about as they are both such great characters. But there felt like a bit of an imbalance with the characters, not only with each other but also separately. Lisabeth Sander who was ferocious and feral in the first film, is very mellowed out here which I can understand and don't have a problem with. I do have a problem with that they actually changed her character in not only historical references but more so in the minute details, which in another film series I would barely even note as an inconsistency but with Lisbeth these slight changes and even notations of carelessness completely shatter the basis of which her character is created. Shatter. I didn't believe it for a second. On the flip side, with Mikael Blomkvist we get almost no development with his character at all. He is present and involved in different aspects of the plot, but here wasn't much Micke kicking around, which is a shame because he's one of interesting characters I've come across in ages for oddly being very normal: emotionally accessible, kind and genuine. He still was all those things in this film too, but they didn't have a chance to shine likely because there wasn't much interaction going on.
Although the characters one of the most compelling part of the series, they are mysteries at heart so plot is of huge importance. Being spoiler-free I'll only touch on it, but again I was so surprized at the take here. It has some new veins of plot here, but it relies heavily on what happened in the first film. I was like "I don't want to go through that again!", and I really didn't expect to see footage from the first film, but it's there. It does have it's own arc, but the mystery is nowhere near as clever and flushed out as the first film which I akin to those fuzzy pictures you see at malls that suddenly 'appear'. This film, it's more like just putting the puzzle pieces together without the picture on the box and then at the end going "Oh, okay".
I wanted more. I expected more. A lot more. If you are going to sit through the extremeness of the content, the pay off has to be huge and I didn't feel like it was enough. It's also clearly Part 2 in the sense not only of coming after Part 1 but also because later we will get Part 3 to complete The Millennium Trilogy. Now, will I go see Part 3, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest / Luftslottet som sprängdes? Yes, I will. Before seeing this part, I was invested in the characters and the world, but now I want to know what happens and my curiosity will get the best of me.
See also: Stieg Larsson's Dragon Tattoo Trilogy (DVD Review)
Warning: Extreme violence, sexual violence, torture
Shannon's Overall View:
I didn't love it
I'd watch it again
I'd recommend only if you've seen and enjoyed the first film The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo / Män som hatar kvinnor
3 minutes of preshow with 2 previews: The Kids Are All Right and The American
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© Shannon Ridler, 2010
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