The Millennium Series: Girl With The Dragon Tattoo & Girl Who Played With Fire Movie Reviews
A while back I had heard things about the books by Stieg Larsson and thought I should read them sometime. Well, life moves on at its usual 18x the speed of light and well, there is no time to read any more… Sad really… Well, not “enough” time that is. I do get some time in before bed usually, but the futility is evident when I wake up with the light on and a book on my head.
I decided to watch the films after hearing an interview with Noomi Rapace on NPR and I have to say, I am thoroughly enjoying the series. It has it all really, the odd characters, the espionage, the murder, and of course, the hacking. Though, with almost any movie, the hacking is nowhere near what the reality of it is, but, at least this one makes an effort at some semblance of reality and I give them points for it. Much more though, the well defined characters and the interesting story lines are the key to these films.
The story follows Lisbeth Salander, a 5 foot coil spring of pent up anger, dressed in goth/hacker/punk attire and makeup. She is an employee of a Stockholm security company working as a sort of “troubleshooter” for information. If there is data on someone, then she is going to get it by whatever means she deems necessary… And that mostly turns out to be hacking into the targets systems as well as all other databases she can access.
In the first movie you get to see just why Salander is so angry, she is under a type of “probation” where the state wants to be in control of her money as well as her life. She has a new PO and he begins right off, abusing her sexually, and soon brutally assaults her. It is then that you begin to see just how ruthless she can be in the vengeance she wreaks on the PO to wrest control back from him and at the same time remove him from the picture.
Salander is mercurial though, and oddly see’s her current assignment, reporter Mikael Blomkvist, as a kindred spirit because he is being falsely accused of slander from reports he had been filing on a local tycoon’s ill deeds. They eventually begin to work together to solve another series of crimes as she watches over his digital shoulder from his compromised laptop that he is writing on.
In the second film, “The Girl Who Played With Fire” The two are back, but in a turn around, Mikael Blomkvist is the one defending Lisbeth from a murder charge. The murder victim? The same PO who raped her and she took vengeance upon in a larger and more arcane story of sexual slavery and the illicit trafficking of foreign women from the Baltics and other regions for brothels. These brothels are frequented by the rich, powerful, and in short, those in government. After Blomkvist’s magazine “Millennium” begins a story on the whole issue, people start dying, starting with the main reporter on the story. I will not though, go into more detail as it would ruin it for you.
What I will say though, is that I see now what Stieg Larsson has been grappling with all these years since witnessing the gang rape that was the genesis for his character of Lisbeth as well as Mikael Blomkvist. He is working through the underbelly of our bestial natures and showing in all of its ugliness, the vileness that we are capable of as human beings while showing that there is always hope as well as potential for good in the world.
See these films or, if you have the time, read the books.
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