Foreign Friday: Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

It has all come to this!

The Millennium trilogy has done a good job of slowly giving us the twisted pieces of heroine Lisbeth Salander’s past.

The first film followed Lisbeth as she met and befriended disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyquvist) and stopped a serial killer.

The second film peeled back layers of Lisbeth as we meet her demented father and albino Frankenstein brother.

In the conclusion to the trilogy, Lisbeth is put on trial for three murders after she recovers from a nearly fatal gunshot wound to the head. Can Lisbeth solve the demons the have been plaguing her? Can she finally let a man into her life that she can trust? And what exactly happened to the albino at the end of the last film?

All these questions are answered as the trilogy concludes.

The film like the others takes a really long time to get going. But it is an hour in and you are saying will this film ever pick up? It really doesn’t, it meanders a lot!

There is a subplot about a threat made on the employees of Blomkvist’s magazine and I guess they thought this was interesting enough since Lisbeth is bed-ridden for nearly 2/3 of the movie. I think this is exactly why this conclusion feels a little forced.

The series has never been about neat little bows, cleaning up loose ends and well having people live happily ever after. Remember this is Scandinavia. Thank goodness the ending at least lives up to the series.

But what seems to bug me is just how uninteresting more than half of this film is.

The cinematography is paint-by-numbers. The staging of scenes is very loose. And well the structure is way off.

The only saving grace are the stalwart performances from the film’s leads. Rapace has been honing this character since day one and you can tell she never wants to let it go.

Nyquvist is also quite strong but you have to remember he is the straight man to this duo and following his life for over 90 minutes is well, extremely dull. Blomkvist is not the reason we have been pushing through these films.

The film’s last hour does wrap some bows on some things but leaves you scratching your head on others. Which for this viewer is just perfect.

I am not sure how close of an adaptation this is to the novel but I am sure Blomkvist’s private life was more interesting in the novel.

At least there you would know what is actually going on inside his mind. Especially during the scene where Blomkvist’s girlfriend says that you are either an “ego-maniac” or “insane”.

It is hard to rate this film because the last hour is very much in vain of the series but the first 1.5 hours is such a bore to get through.

I enjoyed the trilogy and my favorite of the three I would have to say was the second one. The mystery aspects of the first one are some of best scenes in the series. But its the pacing, revelations and insane performance from Rapace that makes the second film the gem of the trilogy and no wonder she is a hot commodity in Hollywood.

I will be very curious to see the remake in the coming weeks. You will see my review of the remake on this blog before Christmas.

2.5 out of 5

So Says the Soothsayer.

One thought on “Foreign Friday: Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

  1. The novels themselves follow a law of diminishing returns as they get longer. The first was the best of the three, although I wasn’t happy in the first film with how they rushed through what is the basic scaffolding of the story, the relationship between Michael and Lisbeth. Curious to see how they handle it in the remake. I thought the second film was the most faithful to the novel. I was disappointed with the third novel, since Lisbeth is sidelined for so long, and let’s face it, that’s who we’re fascinated by. If the third film seems to meander around and be generally nonsensical, it’s because the novel did also. So it can be counted as a “faithful” adaptation, weirdly enough. But the films received way too much hype for what they wind up being despite some wonderful performances, just like the books.

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