The Girl in the Spider’s Web matches Lisbeth Salander against a foe as scarred and as lethal as her.
The Girl in the Spider’s Web Synopsis
Lisbeth Salander i.e. the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo accepts a hacking job from Frans Balder, a terminated employee of the National Security Agency of the USA. The job involves stealing a programme designed by Balder that is capable of accessing the world’s nuclear codes. Before Lisbeth could deliver the programme to Balder, however, she is attacked by numerous assailants in her hideout. Surviving the assault, Lisbeth then turns to former ally/lover Mikael Blomkvist and together, the duo uncovers the involvement of a major crime syndicate. To Lisbeth’s distress, she soon also learns the head of the syndicate is none other than her own sister.
All Dragon Tattoo Girl stories, particularly the movies, require a certain amount of suspension of belief in order to enjoy. They don’t exactly suffer from Gerard Butler-ish type of world-saving illogic, but you do have to believe the movies’ interpretation of hacking in order to like them. To put it simply, you have to accept how Lisbeth’s hacking talents grant her near god-like control of her environments and opponents. A control effective at all times and under all circumstances.
Which can be a tad hard to swallow, especially when you see Lisbeth remotely overpowering cars, airports, the likes of. Correspondingly, it becomes entirely dependent on the actress playing her to sustain the fantasy. In the case of The Girl in the Spider’s Web, I’d say Claire Foy does a splendid, wonderful job of it. As much as a stereotype as the character might seem, I think Lisbeth Salander is a tough character to play because her irresistibility lies in her ambiguity.
Here’s someone who’s distant yet constantly fuelled by emotions. Here’s someone who’s anarchic too, but at the same time powered by a strident system of right and wrong. Foy’s restrained handling, paired with tactful glimpses of inner conflict, does a superb job projecting this ambiguity throughout the show. What’s doubly commendable is that she also sustained this projection throughout. The burning steeliness never falters even in the most intense moments.
Worthy of mention too is the art direction. The movie contains a good number of visual metaphors that are sure to delight those into this discipline. They also reinforce Lisbeth’s emotional dilemma, which is the true heart of the story.
Check out my other snappy movie reviews.