Monday, January 2, 2012

The Girl Who Played with Fire: My take on the movie starring Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyquist


I mentioned that I recently read The Girl Who Played with Fire, and, all hopped up from watching David Fincher's version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, decided to watch the Swedish version of TGWPWF. It's available on Netflix via instant streaming as is The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. The 2nd and 3rd parts of the Millenium trilogy, both films were directed by Daniel Alfredson who happens to be the brother of Tomas Alfredson, the director of this year's beautifully made Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Adapted from John LeCarre's complex, suspenseful and ultimately, moving novel, I was curious to see what his brother would do with the very exciting and intricate plot machinations of The Girl who Played with Fire.


I am a fan of what Neils Arden Oplev did with the first film and hoped that Alfredson would do just as well.

In my opinion he didn't. I don't quibble with his lopping off a huge chunk at the beginning of the novel. It's interesting but left me asking why it was there. It seems so surperfluous. Perhaps it comes into play in volume three? In any case, the cut was necessary especially when you consider the book was about 650 pages long!

Which is perhaps what went wrong; it's the usual lament - there's soooo much they have to leave out in films. Except in this case it wasn't quite so much the details left out as to the speed which was used to cover the material left in. There was absolutely no time to develop the relationships and story at all so what you ended up with was a "this happened then this happened then this happened" scenario that was simply unsatisfying.


I actually think the material would have been much better served had it been done as a series! So we could spend time with Lisbeth (Noomi Rapace)as she goes on her Ikea spree - such good fun! And hang out with Mikael Blomquist (Michael Nyquist) at the Millenium offices a bit, see how important the story about the sex trade and sex trafficking they were investigating really is! Instead it was somewhat glossed over which is a pity.
Plus I spent a good deal of time questioning whether one of the key bad guy characters was who he was supposed to be. "That can't be him!" I complained to my husband. "Shouldn't he be younger?" It was incredibly distracting! Yes, Lisbeth can still kick ass with the best of them and boy, is she a survivor. But I felt what was missing was true suspense and a feeling that it mattered. To Lisbeth. To Blomkvist. And to us.
Take a peek at the trailer here. And if you've seen the movie, I really would like to know what you think. Did you love the movie? Do you think I'm crazy?  Let me know!


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