Showing posts with label Michael Nyqvist. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Michael Nyqvist. Show all posts

Saturday, 2 February 2013

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

Following on directly from the second film in the Millennium trilogy, the final part of the series deals with the aftermath of the events that took place during the previous film. Both the central protagonist Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) and her father Zalachenko (Georgi Staykov) lie seriously injured in hospital while journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) tries desperately to clear Salander’s name and discover the links between the state’s poor treatment of her and a shady underground police organisation known as The Section.

After the disappointment of the Girl Who Played with Fire I was glad to see a partial return to form in this film. The poor end to that film is partially explained as this one picks up seconds after the climax of the second. Although never reaching the heights of The Girl with the DragonTattoo, this movie is interesting but rarely tense. The story is more reminiscent of the original film and ties the series together nicely.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

The Girl Who Played with Fire

Following hot on the heals of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo the second film in the Millennium trilogy finds our heroine Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) back in Sweden following a year abroad. While she tries to keep a low profile and lives of the wealth accumulated in the first film, journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) is helping a young employee with an exposé of Swedish human trafficking and prostitution which threatens to expose high ranking officials. After three grisly murders the police have Lisbeth as the only suspect but separately she and Blomkvist attempt to prove her innocence.

I’ve never read any of Stieg Larsson’s novels but really enjoyed the first film in the series and to a lesser extent the pointlessAmerican remake. The shock and suspense of the first film feels far away from the sequel which is unremarkable by comparison. The plot is thicker and much more confusing and overall the tension from the first film is greatly diminished.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo

2009’s The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo is the first of two recent film adaptations of the best selling novel by Swedish author Stieg Larsson. It centres on the hunt for answers after a young girl was murdered in 1966. Writer Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) has recently been found guilty of libel and is due to be spending a few months in prison. On behalf of Henrik Vanger (Sven-Bertil Taube) a young investigator called Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) does some background research on Blomkvist and Vanger asks him to help solve the mystery surrounding his niece’s disappearance forty years ago. Blomkvist accepts and travels to the island upon which many of the Vanger family are based and where the missing girl, Harriet was last seen. As Blomkvist begins to gather clues and evidence, Salander continues to hack into his computer and becomes interested in both him and the case. Eventually she cracks a clue and sends her findings to Blomkvist who finds her and persuades her to help him. She is at first reluctant but agrees. Together the two try to uncover the mystery and end up uncovering much more than they ever expected to or even wanted to.

Having now seen the film I can now totally understand why the novel has gained such a large following and has sold as many copies as it has (53 million for the trilogy combined). The plot is fascinating and intriguing and is delivered at a steady pace. It successfully feeds just enough information to keep you interested but not enough to allow you to have it all figured out too early. It is quite literally a thrilling Thriller.

Nasty man
Many of the themes of the film are quite dark and have had to be tackled delicately. One of the main themes is violence by men, towards women and indeed the original Swedish title is Men who hate women. There are a few grizzly and quite frankly horrific scenes, one of which has stayed with me the day after seeing it. The films lead female, Lisbeth Salander has undergone some quite horrific acts at the hands of men, many of which are played out during the film and this gives us an understanding as to why she has turned into the woman she has. She is very distanced, especially around men. She is cold and introverted and has difficulty connecting with people. She is sexually ambiguous and shows great hostility towards men who do women harm as a result of her traumatic childhood. All of these traits are performed wonderfully by Noomi Rapace who is simply sublime as Salander. The male lead Mikael Blomkvist is an intelligent and dedicated investigative journalist and Michael Nyqvist plays him well. He is very believable but his performance is completely overshadowed by that of Noomi Rapace.

Another theme which has a place in Sweden is Nazism. This is something that is still quite a contentious subject in the country as many Swedes joined their Aryan cousins, the Germans during World War II. I was shocked to discover in a recent book on the subject that towards the end of the War there were many Swedes, Norwegian and even French volunteers fighting in the streets of Berlin when most of the German’s had been killed or had surrendered. This murky past is explored in the film and becomes a major part of the deduction the two leads undertake.   

The film kept me on the edge of my seat throughout. Salander is a compelling heroine who I was rooting for in every scene is which she was able to enact some revenge on those who had wronged her. Towards the end as all the loose ends had been tied up, I felt that the film carried on for two long but this was obviously to set the story up for the sequel. I also felt that at 152 minutes it was on the long side but having said that there is little I’d want to take out. In regards to the graphic sexual violence, although disturbing I thought that it was necessary in order to show the audience what Salander has had to go through. The film is a great thriller which features a gripping and horrific story and some fantastic acting from Noomi Rapace who deserves all of the nominations and awards that she won for the role.