Millennium 3: The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest

Welcome to post n°300 of Avenue Kurtodrome. Not that I was counting, the directory informed me of this joyous occasion. Seems like about the time to catch up with unlucky Lisbeth Salander. How would she be faring these days? After all we left her almost dead at the end of Millennium 2: The girl who played with fire. The final film is upon us, but – given Lisbeth’s troubled past – are we sure there’ll be an happy end?

The future doesn’t look too promising: in this third film Lisbeth is jailed for the things that happened in the second film. She’s about to be sent to court and almost every sign shows she’ll be sentenced for a lot of years. On the other side of the court, Lisbeth has to face the corrupt people that got her in this situation in the first place.
The future may look bleak, but Mikael Blomquist doesn’t seem eager to give up. Lisbeth was one of the few people who backed him when he was in jail (see film 1), now he can do the same. Whether Lisbeth likes it or not.

The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest has other titles. In some countries the book is called “Justice”, which is an a-typical title for a Millennium book (given that they’re usually longer). The original title, Luftslottet som sprängdes, translates as “The Air Castle That Exploded”. Can Blomquist and Salander blow up the cover of corruption? Can they expose the criminal tentacles? Questions that’ll make you hope: yes. Because the Millennium books take a stand against injustice. Whereas the first book (Men who hate women) mainly tackled the subject of misogyny, the final film is fighting social injustice and corruption.

This makes this third chapter, together with the first, the most critical of our society. The second film mostly gave us a better insight into the troubled past of Lisbeth Salander, but now the focus is on Lisbeth, Blomquist ànd society.

This makes The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest a somewhat better film than the second chapter, even though it – like its predecessor – does show it was made for tv (unlike the first chapter, which was modelled as a mainstream European movie). Still, there’s nothing wrong with being made for tv (some of the best films were made for tv). The ending does drag on a little too long, but this may have been because of the theatrical version. The television movies were shortened for a theatrical release and there are just too many ties that deserve a knot before the trilogy can be closed. It seems likely that the extra 30 minutes of the tv versions will add extra material that’ll make the end’s length seem more in proportion to the rest of the film.

And now that the good things have been mentioned: what a shame that the Belgian movie company decided to postpone the film, allegedly because the Easter holidays weren’t the best time to show bleak mainstream films, but actually to have the third film’s release coincide with the dvd release of the second film. The third film flopped and here (as well as in several other countries) journalists declared the Stieg Larsson franchise virtually dead. We, as experienced admirers of the movies, know better: promotion may help or kill a film’s lifespan in the cinemas, but it doesn’t say anything about the film’s qualities.

The third and final film has something to say. Forget the hype and listen to the message.

7/10

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2 thoughts on “Millennium 3: The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest

  1. deeopey August 4, 2010 / 10:13

    I’ve not actually read or seen any of these but fancy doing one or the other before I find myself unable to avoid the inevitable remake.

    Which is the best way to go?

  2. Kurtodrome August 4, 2010 / 18:08

    I’ve started with the films. The direction of Niels Arden Oplev and the wonderful work of Noomi Rapace (Lisbeth) deserve that. Try and find the extended version.

    I then bought the books, but haven’t read them. I’ve lent the first one to my mom, who’s enjoying them. When I’m home I check the bookmark and try and figure out which was the corresponding scene. My humble conclusion is that Larsson was a storyteller rather than a stylist. Some sentences – though maybe it’s due to the translation – look rather blunt.

    All in all, the films put Lisbeth’s character more in the spotlight, so it seems you can still enjoy reading the books after you’ve seen the films.

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