The Girl Who Played With Fire

I promised. The next time I would talk about the Millennium series is when the new chapter comes out. Well, here we are and The Girl Who Played With Fire is about to get released next week all across North America. Like the first chapter, it is a well thought out & at times challenging dive into the great Swedish divide. However, just like the first chapter, it is a mess, overstuffed with characters and a story that is hit and miss in execution.

The plot -involving sex abuse and sex rings- overreaches and ultimately fails in its outrageous concept. I do think the lead actors are great starting with Noomi Rapace as femme fatale Lisbeth Salander, the movie rests on her shoulders and she carries it gloriously to the finish line & her compatriot and film partner Michael Nyqvist as Mikael Blomkvist- an impeccably professional Swedish movie star. They are the driving force of the movie. The filmmakers strike a somber, successful mood but there isn't much here that I'd recommend, unless -of course- you are a fan of the popular books. & That is basically what it comes down to. Most of the folks I encounter that have an affinity for these films are fans of the novels- which have sold in the millions worldwide.

When you have a fan base that is straight up literary, there is no reason why a film adaptation should not be made. Case in point, the Twilight series, which has single handily focused its attention on the book's die hard fans, to make the movies as straightforward as anything read on book. Smart move, considering the movies are now bona fide cash cows that are the hottest thing to have come out of the Hollywood system since The Lord Of The Rings (which doesn't necessarily mean the quality is high). Basically, playing it safe so that Twi-Hards don't get pissed off prevents the artistic freedom necessary for such a satisfying ventures into cinematic territory. Sucks for us but a wet dream for Twi-Hards and Millenium fanatics.

Kudos has got to be given to director Daniel Alfredson- trying his best at keeping the style and substance relevant- but even the greatest of directors cannot save the most poorly written screenplays (Scorsese? New York New York?). Rumor has it that Hollywood maverick director David Fincher has a remake up his sleeves for 2011, he's currently starting pre-production and filming should begin in the fall with Bond man Daniel Craig as Blomkvist and An Education star Carrey Mulligan as Salander. Here's hoping this visionary does something different with the source material and conjures up a screenplay that is both cinematic and more worthy than its predecessors & goes his own rebellious way in telling the stories. If there's a person that can do it, it's Fincher.