The Girl who Played with Fire [Blu-Ray] Daniel Alfredson

The Girl who Played with Fire [Blu-Ray] Daniel Alfredson
Focusing more on the titular "girl" than its more complex and assured predecessor, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, this second entry in Stieg Larsson's widely popular Millennium trilogy reveals details about Lisbeth's (Noomi Rapace) upbringing and stay at a mental institution after she is implicated in the murder of her rapist, Nils Bjurman (Peter Andersson). It all starts with an error on her part, leaving a gun behind in Bjurman's flat after giving him an aggressive reminder to continue submitting positive monthly reports to social services. Unfortunately, a bullet in his head from a mystery shooter complicates that request, as does the shooting of two young reporters that have just broken a story on the trafficking of underage prostitutes from Russia for rich Swedish bureaucrats. Lisbeth spends most of her time in The Girl who Played with Fire on the run, trying to solve this mystery, while Mikael (Michael Nyqvist) figures out just why someone wanted to frame her for the murder of people fighting the same battle. What's appealing about the film is its mostly underdog investment, since our pierced and tattooed hacker heroine does the unthinkable by fighting back against rightwing, implicitly powerful men despite constant beatings and patronizing allusions to emotional instability (a historically consistent male mode of subjugating outspoken women). Unfortunately, every line of dialogue in the film exists to propel this narrative with on-the-nose observations and coarse indelicacy. Similarly, Alfredson's direction is just short of terrible, filled with dead space and lifeless composition, repeating slows zooms in and out of characters' faces in each scene regardless of purposeful inflection or dramatic importance. More succinctly, it's like watching a TV movie made by a drunken film student. In this sense, an American remake might actually bring some dignity to a story that is far cleverer than its mainstream audience is aware. Included with the DVD and Blu-Ray package are supplements on the fight scene between Niederman, Wu and Paulo Roberto. Of interest is an interview with Roberto, where he discusses playing himself as written in the filmed version of a book he was written into by a man he didn't know. (Alliance)