Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (Daniel Alfredson)

The girl who did a lot of things.

After the cliffhanger that is the "The Girl Who Played with Fire", the 'Millennium' trilogy finally came into a fitting end with barrels blazing and head held up high. There has always been an unhealthy practice for many filmmakers that handle trilogies to set every concluding films into high gear and hasten up into every plot closures, usually starting and, at the same time, culminating into some kind of a prolonged climax. We saw that happen to "The Matrix" franchise, to the third "Pirates of the Caribbean" film, and even "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" (with that deus ex machina courtesy of the ghost army). Maybe they must have mistranslated the idea of a third film as 'an all-out racing fare into a quick conclusion'.

"The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest", with its grounded patience and steady yet tense pace, greatly differentiated itself from every narrative-connected film trilogies. The film, again masterfully handled by director Daniel Alfredson, carried the complex remnants of the tale's progressing anomaly with ease and a sense of utmost professionalism in terms of storytelling.

After the first two films' great build-up, the filmmakers maintained its attention to viewers' intellectual capacity and never went on for some cheap tricks and easy thrills; the film waited and anticipated. They could have easily cut some of Lisbeth Salander's (Noomi Rapace) stagnant sequences in the hospital, but they knew more. The film even focused itself at the slower moments, the conversations and the vocal developments of the story's impending end.

This approach proved to be very effective that when a brief physical action sequence finally comes to play, it was immensely satisfying and a tad bit more thrilling. Why? Because it was intensely justified. It did not put any characters into random degrees of action scenes just for the sake of it. The film fully developed before it gave its initial gunshots. It made us learn to be patient and open-minded, we were rewarded with great satisfaction.

Now, maybe the real reason for the film's well-executed display is the source material itself (by Stieg Larsson) but still, kudos to the makers who have brought this final chapter into cinematic fruition. Lisbeth and journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) were not the only ones who received some pats on their backs for a job well done and a conflict well-resolved, we, the viewers, also did too: for a hefty fourth wall involvement in such an exhilarating, balanced, and thematically provocative saga that is also a damn fine triumvirate of thriller. The girl with the dragon tattoo. Played with fire. Kicked the hornet's nest. Rocked the film world.

And also gave Niedermann a heavily deserved comeuppance.


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