October 25, 2010

Scandinavian Film Festival - Day 3 - Men who hate women & The girl who played with fire

Day three of the Festival here at Buenos Aires and today I was able to see two movies. Here are the quick reviews...(note I think my review on Terribly Happy was too short so I will update the review, be sure to read it later)

Director: Niels Arden Oplev
Cast: Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace, Lena Endre, Peter Haber
Writers: Nikolaj Arcel (screenplay), Rasmus Heisterberg    (screenplay), Stieg Larsson (novel)
Music: Jacob Groth
Production: Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Norway, 2009
Release Date: 27 February 2009
Runtime: 152 Minutes
Original Name: Män som hatar kvinnor
IMDB Link: Men who hate women

The movie tells the story of Mikael Blomkvist a journalist for Millennium, who has just lost a case against a corrupt industrialist, named Hans-Erik Wennerström, and is sentenced to three months in jail. To his surprise he receive a phone call from Henrik Vanger, a very well know industrialist that hires him to investigate the disappearance of his niece, Harriet Vanger. Soon he will join with Lisbeth Salander, a 24-year-old hacker that has some very dark past. Together they will try to solve the mystery of the Vanger family, not knowing where they have entered. As the film progress, we know more about the past of Salander and why she behaves in such strange way; Also, Blomkvist will fall in love with this disturbed young woman. It seems that for every step they make more secrets comes to the light until they discover what truly happened to the lovely Harriet.

“Men who hate women” is based on the novel, “The girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, by Stieg Larsson, a very well know Swedish author/journalist, so you know that the movie has a good base. The movie delivers just as the novel does, the intense and suspense atmosphere is carry throughout the movie and you will never fill that the movie last for more than two hours. The performance of Noomi Rapace the actress who played Lisbeth Salander is great, she manages to create this very twisted and neurotic character. I think we are looking at a new type of female superhero. I have to warned the spectator s that this movie has some very violent scenes, including a rape scene. Although this scenes are very well directed I thought it was better to warn you, as they can be shocking to some people.

Director: Daniel Alfredson
Cast: Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace, Lena Endre, Peter Andersson
Writers: Jonas Frykberg (screenplay), Stieg Larsson (Novel)
Music: Jacob Groth
Production: Swedish, Italian, French, (2009)
Release Date: 18 September 2009 (Denmark)
Runtime: 129 Minutes
Original Name: Flickan som lekte med elden
IMDB Link: The girl who played with fire

The movie is the continuation of “Men who hate women”, Mikael Blomkvist, publisher of Millennium magazine, hires a young journalist (Dag Svensson) who is writing an article to expose the human trafficking in Sweden.  His girlfriend, Mia Johansson, have just publish a thesis on sex trafficking for her doctorate. However, before Dag could publish the article they are both assassinated. Mikael starts to investigate who is the man behind the assassination. At the same time Lisbeth, who was in the Caribbean to stay out of the spotlight, will discover that Mikael is after some dangerous man. They both start to investigate the connections behind a man named “Zala”. Things will take a dark turn as Lisbeth is considered the suspect number one of the local police. Finally we will discover the full story behind Lisbeth.

A wise man once said that second parts are not as good as the first one. I have to agree on that, despite been a good movie, the second part of Millennium, is not as good as the first one. This movie is also based on the novel written by Stieg Larsson (“The girl who played with fire”). I don’t know if the change of director have something to do but I felt that this was a step back in the series. The intense and dark atmosphere is still intact but because the first one was so new and unexpected, this movie fails to deliver the same impact. However, the performances are still great and you should definitely give it a chance.

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