Thursday, December 20, 2012

Cinema Style: Lisbeth

Cinema Style: Lisbeth

This set was completely unexpected.  I knew that I wanted to move on from The Dark Knight Trilogy for some more movie sets, but I was at a standstill as to what movie or character I was going to review next. Luckily, my Netflix Instant Queue led me to the answer.

I have always had a love for a good crime mystery. When I was younger, I used to watch the Murder, She Wrote series starring Angela Lansbury, even though many of the episodes originally aired years before I was born. I went on to watching Law and Order, which introduced me to Law and Order: Criminal Intent. Although not as popular as the Special Victims Unit series, it still remains one of my favorite television shows. It was not just the complex crimes and search for who did it (many times, it is revealed to the audience early on who the killer in question is); it was the performance of Vincent D'Onofrio as the character Robert "Bobby" Goren. His complex back story revealed throughout the series sheds light on his unorthodox methods to seek justice. Though he is many times questioned by his colleagues and partner about his actions, his search for the truth always serves as his redemption.

Vincent D'Onofrio as Robert Goren

My love for Lisbeth is similar to that of Bobby. She is someone who has been through tragedy, hardships, and stripped of her rights as a free person because of her search for justice against her father. And yet, though she appears to be stone cold and apathetic to the average person, she has a great capacity for love. She demonstrates this throughout the series, whether it is the scene where she feeds her former guardian Holgar after he suffers from a stroke, or saving Mikael's life towards the end of the first film. What is equally remarkable are the sacrifices the characters who are close to her are willing to go through in order to protect her. Mikael puts his career and relationships on the line in order to seek justice for her. Paolo and Miriam nearly burn to death in a barn, though they could have at anytime revealed what they knew of Lisbeth's whereabouts. Her own doctor Anders goes against the prosecutor's wishes in order to help Lisbeth while she is confined to the hospital.

So what makes these characters do this? How can some people so easily hate and wish her harm while others seem to almost gravitate to her? Noomi Rapace does a remarkable job of telling the story through body language and looks rather than language (In comparison to other protagonist or actors that are first billed, Rapace does not seem to have as many lines as would be expected). Although she may spit venom with nearly every word she speaks, her gestures tell another story; her holding Mikael's hand as they lay together, the brief smile she gives Anders, the nod she gestures towards her lawyer Annika signaling their triumph.

Millennium Trilogy movie posters

The set has the familiar lack of color that Lisbeth dons in the trilogy. A mix of punk rock and biker clothing pieces and accessories ties them all together. The hairspray is one which Lisbeth uses amply to create her head turning mohawk she displays at her trial. The stack of books represent the scientific DNA textbook she is given by her doctor in order to pass the time as she awaits her trial in her cell. The necklace was a special touch; I thought it was funny how she insisted on having some pizza to eat while she was recuperating, and Dr. Anders pulls enough strings to give her some, if just so that she can become stronger both physically and mentally. I did try and include three things to represent the three book titles: the dragon piercing, the Alicia Keys lyric from "Girl on Fire", and the Burt's Bees chapstick.

I always found it interesting that Lisbeth's father asserts himself to be a survivor, but through him alienating himself from those who have helped him, he ends up being killed. As a parallel, Lisbeth does not ask for help from anyone, but people come together in order to protect her, making Lisbeth the true survivor.

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