The Girl Whose Story We Cannot Follow

When we first see Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) in The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, the final adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s “Millennium” trilogy, she is being transported to a hospital in Gothenburg, bloodied almost beyond recognition, the result of a bullet put in her brain by Zalachenko, her barbaric father, at the very end of Part II, The Girl Who Played With Fire. Her pummeled, gore-covered body was a recurring image in Hornet’s Nest predecessors, particularly the first, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, which seemed to get more sick kicks out of depicting the sexual and physical violence done to Lisbeth by the Men Who Hate Women (Larsson’s indelible original title for Dragon Tattoo) than condemning it. Hornet’s Nest quickly dispenses with the obligatory scenes of its tiny heroine’s traumatized body, including extreme close-ups of a small rectangle being cut out from her noggin on the operating table. Its bloated running time is filled up instead by a convoluted procedural whose plot hinges on the opening and closing of MacBooks, and an abundance of indistinguishable old and middle-aged evil, pale patriarchs in ties and sweater vests. Those who have been stirred by Lisbeth’s wrath and wiry might in the past will this time have to settle for a few minutes of her doing calisthenics while in stir, a bit of nastiness with a nail gun, and her biggest fuck-you to Scandi propriety: dressing in full leather fetish wear with Aqua-Netted mohawk and Clockwork Orange–inspired eye makeup during her trial. Limited to the facial expressions of perma-hate throughout the trilogy, Rapace has given her chiseled cheeks and coal-black eyes, burning with the intensity of a million midnight's suns, a thorough workout. (If The Social Network’s Rooney Mara, who will play Lisbeth in David Fincher’s Dragon Tattoo remake, can’t scowl as effectively, she at least comes with brand recognition: The Girl Who Inadvertently Inspired Facebook.)
Fri., Oct. 29, 2010
 
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