Gordon & Barbara in Paris

Gordon & Barbara in Paris
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Sunday, February 13, 2011


The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest—Directed by Daniel Alfredson. Starring Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace, Lena Endre/ from a novel by Stieg Larsson/written for the screen by Ulf Ryberg/ rated R/147 mins

(B) This is a very exciting thriller in the classic sense. It was well written and suspenseful…It is a pity that these classic stories must come to an end, because of the death of the author, Stieg Larsson. We watched this last one with English over-dubbing instead of the subtitles and I appreciated this effort, as I don’t think I missed as much of the storyline here as I might have in the first two. Of the trilogy, the weakest was the second offering for me. The series definitely opened and closed with the strongest punches. I will likely go back and see these again when the American versions come to the big screen, but I suspect the originals will be tough acts to follow. There were no weak performances, but I have to say that I got some characters confused, as they looked a lot alike. This film seems to fit in with a recent trend toward darkness, but of those nominated for Best Pictures in 2011, it is better than the two dark nominations for Oscars (I’ll let them remain nameless here) of the long list of ten. If you want to try and figure out which films I’m talking about, then look at the list that appears in our recent post. I give this one THREE BINOCULARS.

(G) The original title, Luftslottet som sprängdes translates to something like The Pipedream That Was Blown Up. How this turned into Hornet’s Nest, I don’t know. However, the new and improved title really does fit better the multi-layered suspense thriller that was presented in the previous two films and culminates here. There are really several villains in this storyline, and several subplots to go along with the classic approach to unraveling this complex mystery. We see, for instance why so many different and diverse groups appear to be conspiring against Lisbeth and all the loose ends are neatly trimmed. After all, having obstacles interfere with a protagonist’s “dramatic need” is the screenwriter’s go-to device. So, from a writer’s perspective, I liked the fact that the story is still the most important part of the final product. I too found it a little bit challenging keeping track of some of the secondary characters without a scorecard. In the first film of the trilogy I commented that I liked the fact that major American stars were not cast in the Laarson opener, and I’m sticking with that, but there were some men and women who resembled one another which made for momentary confusion. After seeing, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (the first of the trilogy) I hoped that no one would try to Americanize the cast, but now that I know that an American version is on the way, I’m looking forward to it. Like Barbara, I have to give this one three binoculars as well, and I heartily recommend trying the English dubbed version which lacked only a little bit of emotion in a couple of scenes.

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