The Girl Who Played With Fire
Director: Daniel Alfredson. Rialto cinemas
Again we encounter Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) and Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist), the two crusading Swedes, as they get involved in their country's murky underworld. We also discover the reason behind the title of the film.
Mikael is pretty much the same charcater he was in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo but Lisbeth has lost her Goth looks and is showing more sexual interest in other women.
Lisbeth was always going to be one of the stand-outs in pantheon of great female roles for her earlier performance, in which she gave life to a charcater who was tragic, attractive and disturbing.
She created a woman who was both steely and brittle, a broken person, beaten by society and suffering from an Electra complex, among other things.
She is a flawed, avenging angel, a cross between Pippi Longstocking and a Valkerie, a character that probably says a lot about Swedes.
In the new film, Lisbeth is accused of a triple murder linked to Mikael Blomkvist's investigation of sex trafficking. He sets out to prove her innocence and they become enmeshed in a series of brutal incidents, which lead Lisbeth to encounter her demons and past.
The film has similar themes to the first film; violence against women, the intersection of big business and crime, the legacy of Swedish history, and its fascist past and present.
They meet some really mean guys from the underbelly of Swedish society, including one supervillan even Lisbeth can’t deal with. We will presumably meet him in the next film with tragic consequences.
The Girl Who Played With Fire may not have the shock value of the rape and reprisal scenes of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but it is filled with drama and tension.
There are also a few brutal and harrowing sequences that will get the heart racing.
One of the problems is that for much of the film, the relationship between Lisbeth and Mikael is a virtual relationship as they link only over the internet.
This means the psychological and physical relationship they developed in the first film is not as central and lacks intensity.
Also, Lisbeth's hacking and computer skills are not as impressive as they were in the first film and her anti-social attitudes have softened.
She does, however, still retain her bad-cop attitude of killing and maiming without moral scruples.
Steig Larsson's Millennium films and books have been a huge success internationally. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was the third most successful non-English language film this year.
The book has sold more than 21 million copies and the film has been seen by seven million. So far, The Girl Who Played With Fire has been seen by more than three million.
Thu, 29 Jul 2010