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20 November 2010

The Girl Who Loved To Eat Pizza

Tonight, I saw the third part of the film adaptation of Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy. In it, Lisbeth Salander, a 27-year-old with the body weight of a child and a lifelong struggle against a conspiracy to make her eat, makes a discovery that could end her eating disorder: she really likes pizza. [MINOR SPOILERS MAY FOLLOW] Of course, the film was actually The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest and involves the dénouement of an incredibly complicated series of plots, conspiracies, murders, rapes, lies and hacking, which centres around Lisbeth, the eponymous girl.

However, she does also like pizza and when she wakes up in hospital having been shot in the head and having dug herself out of a makeshift grave, her cute, sympathetic doctor asks why she isn't eating and she tells him that the food is bad and asks if she can have pizza instead. Because he likes her, he arranges a special delivery, which she soon wolfs down. Towards the end of the film, she is seen waiting in a take-out pizza restaurant. Yes, she really does like pizza.

This is somewhat beside the point but it still made me laugh that such a tough person could have such a weakness for pizza. Perhaps it was the dialogue wasn't translated very well but other scenes felt a little clunky too. "That seems like a very big tattoo on your back," sez the cute doctor. Lisbeth doesn't respond but proceeds to show him just how big. "Wow, did it hurt? Did it take a long time?" No response. Then, because he has been very nice to her and she doesn't really know how to say thank you, she adds, "Yes, it hurt and it took a long time." The clunkiness in part comes from Lisbeth's abrupt and often abrasive manner and her inability to relate to anyone very well but still feels a little awkward at times.

As for the film, it was, like its predecessors, exciting and well paced--I didn't object to it being 2.5 hours long--and unlike the books, it felt like a more satisfying end to the trilogy. This is partly because the books were in need of a good edit and this was particularly true of the third, which wasted a lot of pages with excessive detail about the Swedish legal and political systems and complicated and often confusing sub-plots: new romances, information about hyper-detailed security systems, and so on. All three films were good on the editing front, cutting out a lot of the unnecessary or less important plots and focusing on the Girl (and the Man Who Wanted To Help Her). The books meanwhile, seemed to be trying to highlight something grander but didn't do a very good job of it.

Now we just have to wait and see what David Fincher will make of them, although having spent seven hours watching the original films and many more hours reading the books, I'm not sure I want to invest any more time in this series. Erica Albright was fairly feisty but I'm not quite sure she can compare to Noomi Rapace.

NB: No hornets were harmed in the making of this film.

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