The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Starring Michael Nyqvist and Noomi Rapace
Directed by Niels Arden Oplev
Swedish with English Subtitles
Appropriate for ages 18+
This first part in the trilogy by recently deceased author Stieg Larsson follows the investigation of the 40-year-old disappearance of a girl by a journalist who is waiting time before serving a prison sentence he shouldn’t have received. Tracking him is a troubled young girl with a knack for hacking computers and an understandable distrust for men. When their lives intersect, the two set off to solve the mystery of the missing girl and they discover buried secrets far scarier than they could have ever imagined.
Very seldom does a book in a foreign language make it to be such a hit in the English speaking world, but this particular story and now movie has hit a chord with with American audiences in a big way. The book having sold millions of copies worldwide and the movie having already made over a $100 million dollars worldwide, this little girl is causing quite a sensation. And with good reason.
To say the film is intense is an understatement. While you have to be patient to fully understand the investigation of the missing girl from forty years ago, the story of the heroine, Lisbeth, is as interesting, captivating, frightening, and heartbreaking as you will have ever seen. The character development is masterful as is the acting by the talented Noomi Rapace.
As I stated though, you must be a bit patient to really get what is going on as there is a lot of exposition thrown at you and some of it so haphazardly that catching up is difficult. So when Lisbeth is not on screen during the first hour, the film is a little slow, but it eventually speeds up and by the end hyperdrive kicks in and any attention you were paying earlier pays off.
Going to see an unrated foreign film you kind of expect a little more than an R-rated picture, but this is pretty extreme. The premise of the film deals with rape and its effect on its victims. The frank sexuality, brutality, and violence will be far too much for some to handle so let this be a warning, since there really isn’t a rating to do so.
Before seeing the film I had heard that they are already starting to do an American remake which bugged me quite a bit. But after seeing the movie, and finding out that David Fincher (Fight Club) is signed on to direct the remake, I think that I am really interested in seeing what can be done with it. While it is good, I think the film can be better crafted. B+