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Luftslottet Som Sprängdes * Daniel Alfredson (2009)

The third part of the Millenium trilogy comes with many titles. The original title translates as “the air castle that blew”, but the English title is “the girl that kicked the hornet’s nest”. The Dutch title means simply “justice”, the German title “forgiveness” and the French title translates to something like “the queen in the normal air castle”. However we again got the theatrical version, the film is quite a bit longer than the previous two. It is also a more interesting part than the second one and whereas you can watch parts one and two as separate films, there is no need to watch the last part without having seen two, since it simply starts off where two stopped. Part three holds the middle between a thriller and a law thriller, since the larger part of this last film is about the court hearings of Lisbeth who has been framed for a couple of murders in part two and fears to be taken back in by the system that corrupted her in the first place.
“Luftslottet Som Sprängdes” makes a descent closing of an alright trilogy. I am not entirely sure why this trilogy became so popular. Perhaps because the books were? The films are certainly entertaining, but no masterpieces, not even on the scale of Swedish film. They are certainly no waste of time though and recommended to people who enjoy Scandianvian crime thrillers.

Flickan Som Lekte Med Elden * Daniel Alfredson (2009)

The second part of the Millenium trilogy is not of the same director as “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo“. Also this time this Swedish film seems to leave out essential information from the story. I wonder if that is because the DVD that I rented says: “theatrical version” and is about half an hour shorther than I thought that these Millenium films are. For a reason unclear to me, Lisbeth returns to Sweden after having spent a year and a half abroad. Perhaps it is to revitalise her message to her curator, but her preparations are way overdone for that small thing. The Millenium newspaper finds another scandal and again for a reason unknown to me, Lisbeth gets connected to this scandal without her knowing. I can guess how that came to be, but also that would be way too much effort. The story is not as interesting as of the first part, but we learn a lot more about Lisbeth and with the title of this film and the international title of the first, Lisbeth seems to be the focal character of the trilogy. “The Girl Who Played With Fire” is more typical for a Swedish crime film. Not as entertaining as part one and certainly not as entertaining as the American version of part one, but not a boring film either. On to part three.

Män Som Hatar Kvinnor * Niels Arden Oplev (2009)

“Men That Hate Women” is the first part of the Swedish Millenium trilogy. Since we recently watched “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” (strangely enough also the international title of the original) I was not sure if we should watch the Swedish version too, but I am glad we did. The American version is better as a film (yep), but the Swedish version is much better in the telling of the story. From the beginning it is clear what Blomkvist did to the company that put him in jail and for some reason the remake leaves out Blomkvists past on the island and added elements to the story of Lisbeth. I am not going to read the book to find out how things should be, but I am just saying that watching the Swedish version makes the story a lot clearer. The story you can read in the other review. On to “Flickan Som Lekte Med Elden”.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo * David Fincher (2011)

Of course I have never read the books, but also have I never seen the original film trilogy. I want to see them, but their lengths (all over 2,5 hours) hold me back. Then when we thought ‘what the hell’, our video on demand did not have the Swedish films, but the remake of the first part. No problem, because what a great film this is! This is certainly the best thriller that I have seen in some time. Scandinavian thrillers always tend to be nicely dark and gloomy so there may still be a reason to watch the original some time, but Fincher seems to have remained close the to original by not moving the story to the USA and using Swedish names. There are actually two stories (or three depending if one comes back in the second part). The troubled journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Graig) is asked to look into an old family scandal for which he is invited to an island where only this family lives. Then there is the story of the girl from the title, the violent Lisbeth Salander. These two stories come together in the film. The trouble of Blomkvist is not entirely clear to me, but he wrote something about a big company based on bogus sources and the company sues him and his employer. This story is not a big part of the film, but perhaps it comes back lateron in the trilogy.
The story is original and the film watches like reading a book. The atmosphere is good and the story unfolds in a nice, slow pace. There is none of the obligatory blazing action, but a story. The Lisbeth part and the end are a bit overdone, but a modern film needs some violence Fincher may have thought (or the author of the books). The wonderfull soundtrack is from Trent Reznor, so the NIN shirt in the beginning is doubly funny. Indeed, a good film so perhaps I now need to watch another five 2,5+’s…