The Girl Who Played With Fire
The second film in the Millenium trilogy is called The Girl Who Played With Fire. While the cast is the same, the director changed. Instead of Niels Arden Oplev, we see the work of Daniel Alfredson (who also directed The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, and the Swedish television series based on the novel). New screenwriters were brought on for the project as well. Nikolaj Arcel and Rasmus Heisterberg adapted the first novel for the screen, and Jonas Frykberg adapted the last two.
There’s quite a shift in mood between the first and second films. The grit that provided all the atmosphere is somewhat missing here. Lisabeth has embezzled a huge sum of money from a corporate titan and has spent a year or so traveling the world in style. She’s cut off ties with Blomkvist almost completely, although she does keep tabs on his hard drive. She returns to Sweden and a string of murders blamed on her. On the lam, she’s forced to reconnect with Blomkvist in order to avoid the police and solve some serious crimes.
While this film deals heavily with violence towards women (particularly sexual violence), it’s dealt with in a more clinical way. In Dragon Tattoo. we were shown brutal rapes, murders, photos of women who had been tortured to death. Here, we’re exposed to theses on illegal sex trade, action-less confrontations of the men who purchase sex from woman. This isn’t to say that there’s no action. Yes, the thrills are delivered, just based on different pretexts.
As a film, Fire is solid film noir. No one can deny that Lisabeth Salandar is one of the most intriguing and memorable female characters in recent film history. I for one can’t wait to see what The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest will bring.