Saturday, September 19, 2009

Män som hatar kvinnor

Miehet jotka vihaavat naisia / Men Who Hate Women. SE/DK/DE (c) 2009 Yellow Bird Millennium Rights. P: Søren Stærmose. D: Niels Arden Oplev. SC: Nikolaj Arcev, Rasmus Heisterberg - based on the novel by Stieg Larsson (published posthumously in 2005, in English as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). DP: Eric Kress - shot on 35mm Super 35 2,35:1 - digital intermediate. LOC: Gnesta. CAST: Michael Nyqvist (Mikael Blomkvist), Noomi Rapace (Lisbeth Salander), Lena Endre (Erika Berger), Peter Haber (Martin Vanger), Sven-Bertil Taube (Henrik Vanger), Peter Andersson (the lawyer Nils Bjurman), Ingvar Hirdwall (Dirch Frode), Marika Lagercrantz (Cecilia Vanger), Björn Granath (Gustav Morell), Ewa Fröling (Harriet Vanger), Gösta Bredefeldt (Harald Vanger), Fredrik Ohlsson (Gunnar Brännlund), Jacob Ericksson (Christer Malm), Gunnel Lindblom (Isabella Vanger). 154 min. Released in Finland by Nordisk with Finnish subtitles by Scandinavian Text Service. Viewed at Kinopalatsi 4, 18 Sep 2009 [the Finnish premiere took place 27 March 2009]. - Heavy digital look. - Stieg Larsson (1954-2004) had finished three volumes of his Millennium series of detective novels before his death of massive myocardial infarction. Since 2005, the novels have been published with such a success that last year, Larsson was the second best-selling author in the world. The three novels have also been adapted as three films and a six part television series. - This screening was my first contact with the world of Stieg Larsson. - I am not a good critic of this. Swedish crime fiction has a high standard, and that goes also for the tv series adaptations of them, but I am not familiar with them. - I heard from the cinema staff that this film was not especially popular at first, but it has built a strong reputation, and the cinema was well attended half a year after the premiere. - The film can boast fine storytelling, well-built suspense, and talented actors. Michael Nyqvist and Noomi Rapace are excellent, and so are the others. - But the themes I find overblown. Lisbeth Salander's hacker success seems not of this world. Larsson admitted having been inspired by Astrid Lindgren's fairy-tale heroine Pippi Longstocking. Lisbeth's government-appointed guardian being a sadistic rapist in a country like Sweden is hard to believe. The neo-nazi, anti-semitic serial killers and the incestuous rapists belonging to the family of industrialists continuing their rampage over many decades without being undetected. Michael Blomkvist, having exposed corruption in big business, is himself convicted and sent to prison for libel. - Sorry, but I cannot take the combination of all this as valid social criticism. Instead, the Millennium series seems like a great story of paranoia, which brings to mind Fredric Jameson's theories. - I guess the success of these stories is based on the engaging, original and unconventional protagonists and the suspenseful accounts of detective work. - Laila, who has been watching Swedish crime series on tv, commented that this film's visual approach is similar to them, that the jolt was to see Peter Haber, familiar as inspector Beck, as the villain of this film, and that the tv series are usually more credible.

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