The Girl Who Kicked the Hornetís Nest (10/10)
by Tony Medley
Run time 148 minutes.
Not for children.
I donít look forward to many
movies. I go to them and either enjoy them or not, but rarely do I
anticipate them with eagerness. I was looking forward to this one, and
it didnít let me down.
This is the final installment
of Stieg Larssonís Millennium Trilogy (The Girl With the Dragon
Tattoo, and The Girl Who Played With Fire were the first
two), all of which were published after his untimely death and all of
which have been made into movies which have been released this year.
Brilliantly directed by Daniel
Alfredson, Ulf Rybergís screenplay follows the book with some
exceptions, none of which substantially affect the enjoyment of the
film. What really added to this film is the score by Jacob Groth, who
composed the scores for all three of the films. This one needed
exceptional music, however, because it has less action and more talk
than the other two due to the fact that the protagonist, Lisbeth
Salander (Noomi Rapace), is either in the hospital or in jail and
refusing to speak for most of the film.
This film brings to an end
Lisbethís tortured relationship with her evil father, but that leads to
further complications, and brings to a head the long conspiracy to
silence her, all of which were established in the first two films and
books. Despite the lack of an abundance of physical action, the tension
Rapace is certainly in line
for an Oscarģ nomination for her perfomances in these three films, but
thatís not to take away from the performances from the rest of the cast,
especially Michael Nyqvist as Mikael Blomkvist and Annika Hallin as
Mikaelís sister and Lisbethís lawyer, Annika Giannini.
I understand that there are
American versions in the pipeline and that Daniel Craig, who wants to
play James Bond as a bisexual, is slated to be Mikael. In this film,
Nyqvist plays Mikael as a real man with none of Craigís amorphous sexual
characteristics. Rooney Mara, cast to play Lisbeth in the American
version, faces enormous obstacles after Rapaceís exceptional
performances, like someone playing Rhett Butler after Clark Gable
defined the role.
Unfortunately, the subtitles
are not nearly up to the quality of the film, often blending in with the
background to become illegible. Near the end of the film one of the
characters is receiving threatening emails. When the email is flashed on
the screen it is on white paper and the subtitles are also in white with
a white background. Disappearing ink that has already disappeared would
be easier to read. I never did learn what the email said.
Finally, it is essential that
the viewer be familiar with the first two books, either through reading
the books or seeing the films. There is just too much that came before
to watch this without knowing the history of the characters. As the
conclusion of the trilogy, one watching this de novo will likely
be at sea. In Swedish.
October 14, 2010