Directed by: Daniel Alfredson
Starring: Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace, Lena Endre, Per Oscarsson, Georgi Staykov, Annika Hallin, Tanja Lorentzon
Country: Sweden, Scandinavian Cinema
Language: Swedish (English subtitles)
Genres: Detective/Mystery, Lesbian, Human-Trafficking/Prostitution
Plot – Spoilers:
Sequel to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire follows Lisbeth Salander (who is now financially stable from the millions she siphoned) as she returns to Sweden and gets her own place. It’s also the first time we are given proper indication that Lisbeth is bisexual.
Mikael Blomkvist meanwhile is onto his next story. One about human trafficking involving customers in prominent positions. The depth of this prostitution ring soon emerges when the journalist couple researching the story are shot dead. Getting to the bottom of the racket soon becomes Blomkvist’s next obsession especially when all evidence and circumstances point to Lisbeth being the killer.
The Girl Who Played with Fire focuses more on the investigative aspects of the case without getting into the depravity of human trafficking and chooses to give us a better understanding of Lisbeth’s character and childhood.
When Lisbeth has got Sandstrom strung up and is interrogating him, he breaks down at the memory of an incident involving a blond man (Nidermann) who was “pure muscle.”
When you first hear this description, it does feel a bit strange and you wonder – why would Sandstrom remember this man with such awe and terror. Later when Paolo, the boxer, attempts to fight Niedermann in the barn, the latter’s reactions to a professional boxer’s punches sort of justify a memory about “pure muscle,” though we later learn the medical reason behind Nidermann’s obliviousness to pain.