So, we saw The Girl Who Played with Fire last weekend. I was going to blog about it on Monday, but the power went out, so I had to improvise.
Let me start by saying I love what the Swedes have done with Stieg Larsson’s books. They are so true to the story and feel, and the “look” I have inside my head. Do you imagine characters and settings while reading a book and then feel disappointed when the movie doesn’t even come close?
Since I’m really interested in photography, I paid much closer attention to the cinematography. They used a slighty harsh, edgy tone throughout which suited the story perfectly. In some cases, it looked like cross processing. (See my post on that here.)
As I’ve said before, the actors are perfectly cast. Michael Nyqvist and Noomi Rapace do outstanding jobs as Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander. Rapace has the tougher assignment, as Lisbeth is a combination of tough and tender and has some fairly grueling scenes. Even if they used a stunt double, she had to have taken a bruising.
What is it about Lisbeth Salander that resonates so much with audiences? Besides the fact that she triumphs over evil? Is it the way she tenderly feeds her elderly guardian? Is she the poster child for women who can’t speak up for themselves or defeat the monster who shackles them? For me, she’s a refreshing change from the victims on TV or the bimbos in films. If I see one more crime show commercial where the woman is brutally murdered, I’ll scream. Why is it always women?
I know it’s probably impossible for a girl who weighs 88 pounds to beat up two beefed-up biker dudes, but it’s pretty entertaining on screen. You may or may not recall that I’m a sucker for underdogs. I’m not a fan of violence, but there’s just something satisfying about seeing predators get what’s coming to them.
In addition to being superhuman physically, Lisbeth has a photographic memory and can hack into any computer in the world. While I’d love to have her physical strength and memory, I wouldn’t take Lisbeth’s childhood. Those horrors are played out in this second part of the trilogy, and help to explain why Lisbeth is Lisbeth.
The main plot is about exposing prominent Swedes involved in a prostitution ring. Let’s just say that those guys were really sorry to have met Lisbeth Salander. Her past probably fuels her rage and they pay for it.
I’m hearing rumors about Ellen Page being cast as Lisbeth in the American version. I think she’d be great, as she has that tough-but-vulnerable demeanor. I don’t have high hopes for the Americanized trilogy, as I said here, but maybe they’ll surprise me.
The last installment in the trilogy, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, can be reserved at Netflix, but I hope it comes to the theatre first. There’s nothing like sitting in a darkened cinema watching the giant screen and hearing people’s reactions.
Join me in the hopes that the fourth installment of Larsson’s series will be published one day. And before Nyqvist and Rapace get too old to play the parts in the movie.