Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

Posted by ron On December - 8 - 2010


Even in the most dire situations, the Swedes never seem to panic or show a shred of vulnerability. That’s some health care system.

To recap the recent events of Lisbeth Salander: She was raped and blackmailed by her court appointed guardian, her friends harassed by a former Soviet agent, shot the skull by her own father, admitted to intensive care, and soon to be tried for attempted manslaughter. For most human beings, these events might constitute as the worst time in their life. For Ms. Salander, its just the start of her day as she had awoken to discover she had emergency brain surgery and the police were waiting outside her room with handcuffs.

The Girl who kicked the Hornet’s Nest was the final chapter in the millennium trilogy. While it wasn’t quite as engaging as its first two chapters, it wasn’t meant to be. The third and final act was a character study to understand all the walled layers that Lisbeth built in order to maintain her sanity. By the end of this film, the audience fully understood why Lisbeth isolated herself from her friends and enemies. Before many of the secrets to this mysterious young woman are divulged, she’ll have to do learn to trust men for the first time in her life.

No matter how much he tried to forget Lisbeth, Blomkvist still can’t quite come to terms with still being smitten by her. Perhaps when someone so mysterious has saved your life, one might have felt this compelling need to return the favor but his actions bordered on obsession. The need for answers to the riddle of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo placed every one around him in danger. As Mikael dug deeper, the stakes were raised, and every thing around him could be forfeit if he continued his course of action.

Once again, Noomi Rapace was called upon to carefully divulge another layer to the complexity of Lisbeth Salander. From this film, Rapace worked mostly from a hospital bed as she must rehabilitate her body. While not pronounced, her gaze never wavered towards vulnerability but a busy mind that the audience would pay any fee to spend a minute. Its through silence that there is one constant throughout the three films: Lisbeth Salander will never be a victim again. By the end of her trial, one can fully understand why.

While all the players involved do their part, the film failed to truly incorporate one non-essential peripheral plot thread carried over from the second act. By the time it was resolved in the final act of the film, it felt forced and added little to no consequences.

Its arguable whether or not the very last scene between Blomqvist and Salander was fulfilling. Its pretty clear that the director meant not to end the trilogy on high note but rather on a basis of understanding between two people. For the first time in her life, Lisbeth Salander had to trust her friends and a man she barely met to do the right thing. This time, she wasn’t let down.

In my three liquor scale of one Bourbon, One Scotch, and one beer for movies, The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest rated a steady after work Guinness. Consistent, smooth, but not elegant.

Cheers,
Ron

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