Friday, December 3, 2010

You'll probably like 'The Girl Who Played with Fire,' especially if you speak Swedish

Just the other day, I got the chance to watch the 2010's “The Girl Who Played with Fire,” and it wasn’t exactly what I expected.

This movie is the second movie based on the late Stieg Larsson’s “Millennium” book trilogy, which includes international best sellers “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” “The Girl Who Played with Fire” and “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.” The motion picture version of “The Girl Who Played with Fire” follows the 2009 movie, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.”

I’ve never read any of the books, and I am only somewhat familiar with Larsson, so imagine my surprise when I popped “The Girl Who Played with Fire” into my DVD player and discovered that the movie’s in Swedish. Yep, that’s right, all of the books and movies are set in Sweden.

Those of us who don’t speak Swedish have to watch one of two versions of “The Girl Who Played with Fire.” One version will give you English audio dubbed over Swedish, and the other version will give you Swedish audio with English subtitles. I went with the English subtitles version.

While a little aggravating, this is not to say that the movie wasn’t entertaining. For those of you who haven’t seen the movie and are unfamiliar with the book, it’s a crime-thriller-drama that centers on a young woman named Lisbeth Salander. The movie begins with Salander returning to her native Sweden after living a year or so out of the country in the Caribbean. Upon her return, events result in her being the prime suspect in three murders. While the police search high and low for her, the publisher of Millennium magazine tries to find her in an effort to help her to prove her innocence and find the real killers.

Directed by Daniel Alfredson, the movie stars Noomi Rapace as Salander and Michael Nyqvist as magazine publisher, Mikael Blomkvist. The movie was a huge financial success, mostly due to its popularity among international audiences. It brought in $65.4 million in gross revenues, which included a $7.5 million showing in the U.S.

Those of you who enjoyed this movie will be glad to hear that the third installment of the series, “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest,” has already been released in the U.S. It was released in Sweden in November 2009, but wasn’t released in the U.S. until Oct. 29, 2010. This movie also stars Rapace and Nyqvist.

I’ve yet to read any of the books that these movies are based on, but they must be pretty good. They’ve all spent a lot of time on the various best-seller lists, and watching “The Girl Who Played with Fire” definitely made me want to read the book.

As I mentioned earlier, Stieg Larsson is dead and unfortunately, he never realized the success of his novels. They were all published after his death. Larsson died in November 2004 of a heart attack in Stockholm. He was 50 years old.

In the end, I enjoyed “The Girl Who Played with Fire” movie and would recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the book or likes crime movies or thrillers.

How many of you have had a chance to see this movie? What did you think about it? Did you like it? Dislike it? Let us know in the comments section below.

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