Monday, July 12, 2010
The Girl who played with Fire gets herself burned.
The Girl who played with Fire, is part 2 in a 3 part series. We pick up about a year later from where The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo finished. Lisbeth, the heroine or rather anti-heroine, is now rich and living a rather mysterious life. She's cut off ties with her former lover, the journalist Mikael Blomkvist. He tries to find out where she is as he is still rather fond of her. The movie doesn't go into detail that much about the year that Lisbeth has been away traveling or why she's cut Mikael out of her life. You have to read the book in order to get those kind of answers. As most people know, books tend to bring an added dimension and more layers to characters than cinema can do.
I don't think it's necessary to read the books in order to enjoy these movies. (I've only read a quarter of the second book and I've enjoyed both films) But I do think it's absolutely necessary for you to watch the first film, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, in order to understand and follow this second film. Things are sometimes glossed over or taken for granted that the audience would just know these elements, which some people won't.
The Girl who played with Fire gets more personal this time around as we find out more about Lisbeth's background and her family life and how her past connects to her present. Although, I enjoyed this film, I can't help feeling that something was missing. I prefer the first one as I felt more invested with the characters and unravelling the mystery of that plot. This time around, I didn't much care for how things came together and I felt that it was too convenient and much too much of a coincidence. But it's a minor quibble when dealing with one of the freshest and most unique female characters to come to the screen in a long time. Noomi Rapace is riveting as Lisbeth. She has so many layers and is fascinating to watch. I can't help but root for her. She makes no apologies for how she leads her life because ultimately, the way she lives her life is about survival. Under her tough exterior, there really is a little girl in there who has a full heart and just wants to love and live a normal life. Her interactions with her sometimes girlfriend are tender and sweet without being sentimental at all. Don't be fooled, Lisbeth is still tough and nobody will penetrate that because even when they're close, as Blomkvist was, she shuts them down without hesitation. Again, it's about survival, physical and spiritual.
As for the plot of The Girl who played with Fire, it almost becomes secondary because it is about Lisbeth's journey and coming to terms with her past the only way she knows how and that's through violence. However, the plot details are this: Blmokvist and his magazine are investigating a sex trafficking ring in Swedan that is lead by a mysterious Russian. People are killed and the finger points to Lisbeth who Blmokvist believes is innocent. Blomkvist sets out to prove her innocence, while Lisbeth sets out to exact revenge, leading to a bloody showdown.
Rent The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo one night and then head out to the cinemas the next night for The Girl who played with Fire. It's worth it.