“The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” creates a buzz

By Tyler Manoukian

Courtesy of hiff.org

“The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest,” released this past weekend into the U.S. market as the third part of the millennium trilogy sees a corrupt organization trying at great lengths to destroy the life of a young female woman.

In the midst of a rogue organization’s feverish attempt to erase the past and save itself from exposure, the group tries to silence the key witness of Lisbeth Salander. The organization will stop at nothing to prevent the consequences of their actions from coming to fruition. Framing, murder and perjury play huge roles in this film’s edgy storyline.

Salander is probably one of the most captivating female protagonists in contemporary fiction. She is played by Noomi Rapace, a troubled woman recovering from gunshot wounds to the head, while she is prosecuted for the attempted murder of her treacherous father.

Rapace gives a stellar performance that shows off her talent. Though she does not speak much throughout the film, due to being declared legally incompetent and placed in a psychiatric ward at the age of 12, her role as a distressed victim was incredibly watchable. Her remarkable change throughout the film was something quite remarkable, something you do not usually see in traditional American films.

Journalist Mikael Blomkvist, cast as Michael Nyqvist, is a ladies man and journalist with ‘Millennium’ magazine. His energetic approach is the kind of journalistic determination that is frequently under-represented in American film. Here, the investigative journalist is magnificent, as Blomkvist is the catalytic force behind Salander’s case. As an actor, Nyqvist is quite connected to his role. His immense effort is evident in the movie.

This Swedish film contrasts in several ways with what we know as the traditional Hollywood film. The film definitely shies away from mainstream American culture, which may have something to do with its select release. Its contrast with American film is so distant that some may find themselves frustrated. Since it was filmed in Europe, we get an organic understanding of its content and setting.

One thing to like about this film is the difference in culture. There are no explosions and there is no obvious hero. It simply tells the story of a troubled woman, trying to escape the wrath of psychological incarceration. There is no single hero, because the side of “good” is represented by multiple organizations and individuals such as national security officials, a magazine editor and an empathetic defense lawyer who make the struggle more community-focused, rather than simply one man who coincidentally does it all.

Where we are so used to seeing the powerful lawyer sweep through with ease and take control of the situation, the defense lawyer in this film, Annika Giannini is a character that you really want to get behind in hope that she prevails. Her legal battle with the prosecution and the insensitive psychiatrist culminates in a truly terrific ending.

Stieg Larsson, the writer of all three books from which the movies were based on, shows great attention to detail. His dedication to be as methodical as possible sometimes works against him as the occasionally dry, clunky reading sometimes translated to the film. However, his work in all three books really have turned into a fantastic film series.

In the grand scheme of things, fans of the “Millenium” trilogy can expect a terrific film to cap things off. Its final moments were every bit as satisfying as the opening sequence. Fans of Larsson’s books or the movie series thus far will appreciate the indie feel this installment brings to the screen.

To a curious American audience saturated by Hollywood’s ideological presentations, the film may not be your ideal cup of coffee. But if you are tired of the same story being remade week after week, come see this movie with an open mind.

Tyler Manoukian can be reached at [email protected]