Saturday, March 26, 2011

Movie Review - The Girl Who Played with Fire

Synopsis: Based on the second book in the Millennium Trilogy by Steig Larsson, The Girl who Played with Fire continues the story of Mikael Blomkvist, publisher of the magazine Millennium and fresh from exposing a corporate conspiracy in the last movie. Blomkvist is approached by a young journalist with a thoroughly research these about slave trafficking in Sweden and the cover by a section of the government service. After the journalist is murdered, Blomkvist goes all out to rescue his protégé from the firs movie Lisbeth Salander who has been framed with the murder. Michael Nyqvist and Noomi Rapace reprise their roles as Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander respectively.

Toning down, though not entirely ditching the swatches or rough S&M sex that was featured in The Girl with the Dragoon Tattoo (the first film from The Millennium Trilogy by Steig Larsson), this sequel, The Girl who Played with Fire nonetheless drags us back into a world of breadknife feminism where sexual violence seldom goes without punishment. And again it is worth the price of admission alone to spend time in the company of Sweden’s premiere bisexual sleuth, Lisbeth Salander, as she get tangled up in a hackneyed and unlikely plot where she must work out who has framed her for the murder of a journalist on the cusp of exposing a government conspiracy and a sex trafficking ring.

The title of the movie refers to an incident from Lisbeth’s childhood where she doused her father in petrol and set him ablaze – an event whose consequences she must now face. Offering less of a cut and dried storyline than the first instalment, this film spend its running time carefully arranging the narrative dominoes in order to have them topple in the third and final part of this excellent trilogy. The only advantage of seeing The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo first is that it gives depth and meaning to Lisbeth’s relationship with the protagonist, ruddy faced reporter, Mikael Blomkvist, who works tireless to clear the name of his erstwhile paramour.

Filmed in murky, grainy tones which chime nicely with the squalid demi-monde that Lisbeth is forced to frequent, the film is more sharply focused on fleshing out the mood and character than it is supplying rudimentary twist at cosy junctures. Certainly much of the story is Google powered, but is that not to be expected from an ace computer hacker? And the debate regarding the film’s credentials is rendered moot at the point where Lisbeth takes down a leering Hell’s Angel with an electric taser to the groin.

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