The Girl Who Played With Fire

30 Movies in 30 Days: The Girl Who Played With Fire

The Girl Who Played With FireIt’s the sequel to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, which honestly ended very well and very neatly. This movie has the task of inspiring new plots and new reasons for Lisbeth and Mikael Blomkvist to talk to each other.

How does it manage this? By being balls-out crazy, and revealing even more of Lisbeth’s crazy past. It’s like at this moment the author gave up, admitting at last that she is the most interesting aspect of this movie.

The gist: The movie gets its title from the fact that Lisbethgets in deep sh*t in this film. She’s accused of the crime of killing an innocent journalist—one of the coworkers of her old associate/f*ck buddy, Mikael Blomkvist. She’s forced to go on the run. Surprisingly easy, for someone with her skills and knowledge. But when an underground crime gang emerges, headed up by a man claiming to be her father but clearly hunting for her blood, Lisbeth is forced to doubt her choices. She has to wonder whether it’s best to keep running, or face the music.

What I “learned”: At first, I bemoaned the fact that this film series was basically the equivalent of a Lifetime movie. All three movies made in a set, presumably with the intention of airing all three at once over time. I bemoaned that fact, because to me it meant that these movies weren’t really being taken seriously.

After seeing this movie, I realized that I had no reason to fear. This series needed to be filmed three at a time, because otherwise the entire story wouldn’t have made sense. America tried with its own film version, but because it wasn’t an instant hit the series wasn’t completed. It’s a shame, because you don’t know Lisbeth (or the story in general) simply by watching one movie in this series. You go all the way, or nothing at all. So good for this series that it went where it was wanted, reputation be damned.

See this movie if you like: Heroines that aren’t helpless, and make you think during the progression of their story.

Minor spoilers here: It’s revealed throughout the course of this film that the event that set Lisbeth up as mentally incompetent happened when she was a very small child. That inspires some pity from the audience. But the we learn that that event was her setting a man on fire, and that pity is gone. Later on, we learn that that man was her birth father who regularly abused her mother. And the pity… starts to come back? Ah, the seesaw of support we feel for this main character! It’s what makes movies fascinating!

Avoid this movie if: You can’t stand violence against women. Lisbeth’s entire schtick is that she is painted as the embodiment of the rage of women wronged by men. She was abused by men, and she attempts to release punishment upon them. She doesn’t take violence lying down. But that only serves to attract more violence into her life. So beware of this movie if that is one of your triggers.

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