Stieg Larsson’s second novel in the Millennium trilogy, “The Girl Who Played With Fire,” saw the continuation of the story of Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomqvist while they try to stop a sex trafficking ring in Sweden. The whole trilogy of books was a massive success, but the film version was given half the budget of the first film for some reason, while also being paired with a different director. Perhaps the producers knew the book wasn’t quite as good as the first one? Perhaps they figured they could spend less because people would be seeing it anyway? Whatever the reasons, it seems a bit like the ugly red-headed stepchild. But director Daniel Alfredson still put together an effective film, even if it feels a bit average at times. Join us – Pete Wright and Andy Nelson – as we continue our series on the Millennium trilogy with Alfredson’s 2009 take on The Girl Who Played With Fire.
We talk about the overall feel of the film and try to gauge why it doesn’t feel as fresh or original as the first film. We discuss the inevitable effects that a much lower budget has on those making the film and ponder if that affected Alfredson. We debate about Alfredson as a director and wonder what he’s bringing to the table. We are still thrilled with Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyqvist as Lisbeth and Mikael, even if there are elements about them that can be more frustrating here. We look at Peter Mokrosinski’s cinematography and look at where it works and where it doesn’t. And we look at the script and how the adaptation works, questioning whether some of the poorer elements were thrust on the filmmakers by Larsson’s source material.
On the whole, we enjoy the film but not on the level of the first entry. Still, it allows for a great conversation, so check it out then tune in! The Next Reel – when the movie ends, our conversation begins.