Sunday, October 03, 2010

The Girl Who Played with Fire (Language - Swedish) (2010) - Movie Review

It is strange that we cared more for finding the killer of the supposed murder of a girl in 60s in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” than the primary lead Lisbeth Salander’s (Noomi Rapace) framer in the sequel “The Girl Who Played with Fire”. Lisbeth returns from her outing away from Sweden and she can still freaking kick some ass. Noomi Rapace plays her with the same vigour and persistent from the first film in this Millennium Trilogy with “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest”.

Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) had a memorable case and encounter with Lisbeth that he is not mad or disappointed when Lisbeth disappears for a year. He knows her pain behind those eyes and knows her withdrawal from social scene. Lisbeth keeps track of her perverted and rapist guardian Nils Bjurman (Peter Andersson) in tags. She hacks his mail and learns that he has ordered a tattoo removal service. Bad idea. She goes back to remind him the drill he remembered being recited with tied hands and gag on his mouth a year back from her. Things happen wherein not alone Nils meets a deadly end but a novice journalist Dag (Hans Christian Thulin) who was about to break a big story about sex trafficking gets killed along with his girlfriend. All three are done with the same gun with Salander’s fingerprint on it. She flees and Mikael tries to solve this frame job.

In most of these investigative films, there is a single source of view point towards these nail biting trail findings. The technique is to keep the screenplay focussed and not stray away and in these two films they digress from this method rather methodically. At least for major portion of these films, there are two people tracking the details and arriving at the same destination. There is no comparison of traditional methods though Mikael’s is something like that while Lisbeth’s is plays technology like a musical instrument.

Sometimes Hollywood submerge into the computer screens which does not look like any conventional Operating Systems but these films advertise and follow religiously the Macbook and its OS. How does Lisbeth hack other’s computers is a different deal but her process is clear and mainly believable as they take you to a screen you know and have seen. Despite these, “The Girl who Played with Fire” does not make you want Lisbeth to exonerate herself. Not that we do not care but we do not mind much about it.

The past of Lisbeth was slit open in the first film wherein she bathes a man in fire. Obvious guess of the man will be her dad. She had a rough life and not because of her Goth and antisocial behaviour but there is a wear in her face that are masked by a painted make up that do not belong. She smokes not with a style but with a despair. She has had it tough and the past does not leave her alone. She escaped from the claws of her cruel guardian but her childhood abuse has left her permanently damaged. That part of it is used as a tool to a plot than to characterize her for more examination.

Given all this, the film never stops to get breath. It keeps on moving and let us not settle ourselves with a cruise control plot. The information comes on without any problem and the fight for it keeps the clock ticking with justified duration. Another great part of this films is the supporting characters owning up to the task not in characterization but in physical endurance and kick ass abilities. Her lesbian lover Miriam Wu (Yasmine Garbi) and Paulo Roberto (playing himself) give their best to the blond giant Ronald Niedermann (Micke Spreitz). Ronald comes as the equivalent of James Bond villain Iron Jaw. The Iron Jaw would automatically bring my intestine to complete stop but this blond giant is merely reaction less and uninteresting villain.

I think I was left unsatisfied despite a reasonably well expedited and executed screenplay. In “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, I mentioned the unnecessary need for an explicit rape scene and hoped for a better justification in the sequels to invite and empathize in the dark world of Lisbeth. They do so but not for a character study rather a plot driving equipment. Nothing wrong with it but it fails to connect as the first film did. We are entertained but not moved.

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