The girl with the dragon tattoo returns. 

film2.jpg

The first film versions of late Swedish author Stieg Larsson's audaciously successful "Millennium" mystery/thriller series  — The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, released in the U.S. earlier this year, and The Girl Who Played With Fire, opening in Memphis this week — are essentially garish pulp thrillers that aspire to something more serious, in the vein of The Silence of the Lambs.

But unlike Lambs author Thomas Harris' series of page-to-screen hits, which foisted serial-killer chic and Hannibal Lecter on us, Larsson's work introduces a new pop-culture figure more worthy of icon status.

As portrayed by Noomi Rapace in both films (as well as in the forthcoming The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest), Larsson protagonist Lisbeth Salander is a memorable, charismatic figure. The wiry, petite heroine is an androgynous figure who looks something like a blend of Joan of Arc, young Jackie Earle Hailey, and Run, Lola, Run.

After establishing Salander in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, she becomes a Jason Bourne-like figure in The Girl Who Played With Fire — on the lam, pursued, hiding in plain sight, forced to fight back.

The Girl Who Played With Fire burrows into the tormented Salander back-story only hinted at in the first film, spinning off the plot-starting murder of a pair of journalists set to uncover government complicity in a sex-trafficking operation, with Salander's fingerprints found on the murder weapon.

The real theme of both films is misogynistic violence, with Fire slightly less graphic in its depiction of these crimes than Dragon Tattoo. Salander is an avenging angel taking on bad men. Appropriately, her weapons of choice are a can of mace, a taser, a big chip on her shoulder, and a bigger brain.

Larsson's novels must be densely plotted, because even with their two-plus-hour run times, these films feel a little shoddy as procedurals. You can sense the characters and connections left out, and the films' directors (Niels Arden Oplev in the first film, Daniel Alfredson here) don't help with their struggle to make the paper trail compelling.

The Girl Who Played With Fire is perhaps a little less satisfying as a mystery/thriller than the first in strictly genre terms, but it is ultimately more compelling in its increased focus on Lisbeth and its welcome move from a wintry family estate to an in-and-around Stockholm setting of which the film makes good use.

The Girl Who Played With Fire

Opening Friday, August 13th

Multiple locations

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.


Favorite

Tags:

The Girl Who Played With Fire (Flickan som lekte med elden)
Rated NR · 129 min. · 2010
Director: Daniel Alfredson
Writer: Jonas Frykberg and Stieg Larsson
Producer: Lone Korslund and Peter Nadermann
Cast: Noomi Rapace, Michael Nyqvist, Lena Endre, Georgi Staykov and Sofia Ledarp
The Girl Who Played With Fire (Flickan som lekte med elden)
Rated R · 129 min. · 2010
Director: Daniel Alfredson
Writer: Jonas Frykberg and Stieg Larsson
Cast: Noomi Rapace, Michael Nyqvist, Lena Endre, Georgi Staykov, Sofia Ledarp, Micke Spreitz, Per Oscarsson, Paolo Roberto, Alexandra Eisenstein and Annika Hallin

Now Playing

The Girl Who Played With Fire (Flickan som lekte med elden) is not showing in any theaters in the area.

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
    • The Meg

      Jason Statham gets ripped and fights giant sharks. Are you not entertained?
    • Memphis Film Prize 2018

      Ten local films compete for $10,000 in the 2018 Memphis Film Prize

Blogs

Music Blog

Jose Feliciano Plays Unannounced Memphis Gig

Hungry Memphis

Welcome back, Restaurant Iris!

Music Blog

Gillian Welch Wows GPAC

Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Alpha

Intermission Impossible

In Praise of "Love and Murder" at Playhouse on the Square

News Blog

MATA Looks to Hire More Trolley Operators

Music Blog

Listen Up: Cruelty of the Heavens

News Blog

VIDEO: SUV Driver Swerves Into Cyclists

Intermission Impossible

Ostranders to Honor Memphis Performers Who Died During 2017-18 Season

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Chris Herrington

  • Last Words

    In "Enough Said," James Gandolfini makes his last lead film role his best.
    • Sep 26, 2013
  • Masters of Sound

    New albums from two of Memphis’ most distinctive stylists.
    • Sep 19, 2013
  • Hayes Carll at the Hi-Tone

    • Sep 19, 2013
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Death Grip

    Memphis filmmaker Sam Bahre talks about his 11-year struggle to create I Filmed Your Death.
    • Apr 19, 2018
  • I Am Not Your Negro

    Raoul Peck’s documentary brings James Baldwin’s words to an America that needs to listen.
    • Feb 24, 2017
  • Isle Of Dogs

    Wes Anderson returns to animation with this charming fable.
    • Apr 15, 2018
ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2018

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation