Synopsis: The final installment of Stieg Larsson’s “Millennium” trilogy, following The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and The Girl Who Played With Fire, The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest finds Lisbeth Salander fighting for her life in more ways than one. In an intensive care unit and charged with three murders, she will have to not only prove her innocence, but also identify and denounce the same rogue government security agency that sought to silence and destroy her. Once upon a time, she was a victim. Now, Lisbeth Salander is fighting back.
The Dragon Tattoo Trilogy: Extended Edition contains more than two hours of additional footage not seen in the theatrical versions of the original Swedish films (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest). Amassing a total of 9 hours of story content and presented in 6 parts, this complete version of the international hit series restores notable characters and subplots from Stieg Larsson’s best-selling novels, most significantly in the portrayal of Erika Berger (Lena Endre), the editor of MILLENNIUM magazine as well as Mikael Blomkvist’s friend and occasional lover. Starring Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyqvist, Dragon Tattoo Trilogy: Extended Edition is the quintessential set for lovers of the books and a must-have for fans of the film trilogy.
Luftslottet som sprängdes 8.25
eyelights: Lisbeth. the weaving together of the whole series’ various pieces. the satisfying dénouement.
eyesores: the run-of-the-mill direction.
Well, that’s more like it. After the mild disappointments of ‘The Girl Who Played With Fire‘, ‘Luftslottet som sprängdes’ delivers everything that had been promised -or hoped for- up until that point: the toppling of countless shadowy crime figures hidden in positions of power, justice prevailing, the redemption of Lisbeth, and the vindication of Mikael.
While this film is much slower than its predecessors, which were designed as thrillers, I loved the move/counter-move rhythm of the picture. It was like watching a chess match, with both opponents trying to outsmart the other: every time one side made a move, the other had to respond or react to it – if not in anticipation of their follow-up move, then for damage control.
In its own way, ‘Luftslottet som sprängdes’ was riveting; it certainly sustained my attention.
Again, I watched the 2-part mini-series version of the film. I can’t even fathom how they trimmed anything for the theatrical version (which is at least 35 minutes shorter, sometimes almost 50 minutes shorter, depending on which edition one watches!!!). In my mind, the full three-hour version has no superfluous elements to it at all: every single bit is essential, an integral part of the story.
(For a complete rundown of all the changes, please visit the following site: www.movie-censorship.com/. It’s extensive and thorough. It’s a total eye-opener.)
‘Luftslottet som sprängdes’ is effectively the second part of a two-part story that began with ‘…Played with Fire’. The first truly feels incomplete without this one (as evidenced by my reaction to it!), and this one cannot be watched without the former. I never expected this when I started the series, but only the first film stands on its own; I had expected each volume to be its own thing.
One aspect that I really liked was that, while the first film introduces us to both of our characters, bringing them together at the mid-mark, the second film focused on Lisbeth more, and the third focuses on Mikael more. There’s balance there. It’s also fitting, in that I get the sense that Larsson made of Blomqvist a sort of doppelgänger of himself: the hero, the giant slayer, that he would have liked to be. The notion, whether accurate or not, put a smile on my face.
One of the things that really impressed me was watching Lisbeth refuse to relinquish what little control that she had left, remaining silent for most of the picture, obstinately refusing to answer police questions even in the presence of her attorney. While this could come off as despondency, one eventually understands that its actually wilfulness on her part – she’s refusing to be a part of their games, biding her time to eventually open up and cause as much damage as she possibly can.
When L:isbeth finally does speak, it’s in such a calculating, semantics-dissecting fashion that it was pure bliss to watch; by that point, one so wishes for her to come out victorious that watching her come out swinging and pulling no punches was delicious. I hate boxing, but this was like watching a boxer spar defensively until the right opportunity – and then delivering devastating blows with exactitude. She won major points with me for the way that she handled the prosecutor and Dr. Teleborian.
Meanwhile, Mikael also gets major props for being so damned righteous. This guy is not only smart, he’s gutsy and ethical at once – a rare hero. While everyone else was starting to buckle under the pressure, he buckled down and did everything he could to help Lisbeth, connecting all the dots and lifting the veil on the ongoing conspiracy that was eating away at the heart of the Swedish government. He went even so far as to jeopardize his personal relationships to do the right thing, putting the big picture above his own interests. Nice.
All in all, I was incredibly pleased with ‘Luftslottet som sprängdes’ . Even though some people feel that the ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo‘ is the best of the bunch, I find this one equally good for entirely different reasons. Granted, it’s a television movie (unlike ‘Tattoo’ which has a more cinematic quality to it), but the turns of events are so incredibly satisfying that I got goosebumps two or three times. To me, it gets points just for that: this picture doesn’t just kick the hornet’s nest, it put the boot in.
Post scriptum: I enjoyed this series so much that I’m now considering reading the books. What impresses me is how the series focused on the essential elements of the books, not wasting its breath and diverting our attention with elements that are unessential to the core story. I have been made aware of many of the background stories and it sounds like there is much more to cull from the series than what we’ve seen. I am definitely intrigued. It may be a while, but I hope to someday get a good look at Larsson’s ‘Tattoo’ trilogy.
Date of viewing: February 24, 2013