Film Review: The Girl Who Played With Fire (2010)

  • Originally posted on February 22, 2019

Previous readers of this blog will be aware of my love for Stieg Larsson’s greatest creation, the ‘Millenium’ series. I have read all five books, and last month I set about watching the first three films (all in the original Swedish, of course). The first film, ‘The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo’, certainly lived up to my high expectations for the films, especially as the books had been so brilliantly created. But would the second be just as good?

In a word: yes. Noomi Rapace was absolutely brilliant as Lisbeth, and the scriptwriters, her fellow actors and everyone else concerned with this sequel did just as well to bring the novel to life. Knowing the plot, I knew exactly who Alexander Zalachenko was (no spoilers), but I had forgotten other parts of the novel. Zalachenko was portrayed excellently as a convincing but exceptionally nasty villain by Georgi Staykov. As for Michael Nyqvist, who was once again the amusing but wonderful Mikael Blomkvist… Why there not more shirtless scenes? That aside, he was also very believable and Blomkvist remains one of my favourite antagonists (or should I say, co-antagonists) of all time.

Film series tend to go downhill after the first, but this js an exception. It is obvious throughout that a different director is in charge: Daniel Alfredson’s take on Lisbeth’s world is far less bloody and graphic than that depicted in ‘Dragon Tattoo’, yet is just as powerful. It is even more emotional throughout, especially in the sections where Blomkvist begins to piece together Salander’s troubled backstory.

Although the film is from 2010, it is worth a watch, although certain aspects will make zero sense if you don’t watch or read the first film/book first. These films live up to their billings, and a review of the third (and currently, final) Swedish screen adaption will not be far away.

Cast list:

Michael Nyqvist – Mikael Blomkvist
Noomi Rapace – Lisbeth Salander
Lena Endre – Erika Berger
Peter Andersson – Nils Erik Bjurman
Per Oscarsson – Holger Palmgren
Georgi Staykov – Alexander Zalachenko
Sofia Ledarp – Malin Eriksson
Yasmine Garbi – Miriam Wu
Annika Hallin – Annika Giannini
Tanja Lorentzon – Sonja Modig
Paolo Roberto – himself
Johan Kylén – Jan Bublanski
Magnus Krepper – Hans Faste
Ralph Carlsson – Gunnar Björck
Micke Spreitz – Ronald Niedermann
Anders Ahlbom – Dr. Peter Teleborian
Tehilla Blad – young Lisbeth Salander

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