The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

| 27 March , 2010 | Reply

Keeva Stratton from Quip Creative

Directed by: Niels Arden Opliv
Based on the book by Stieg Larsson

Set in Sweden, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo follows the journey of a disgraced financial journalist, Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist), who is hired by the mysterious and frail Henrik Vanger (owner the powerful of Vanger Corporation) to solve a murder mystery that has taunted Vanger for over 40 years.

Having recently been found guilty of libel, and prior to having to serve his jail term, Blomkvist is more than willing to leave his post as editor of Millenium Magazine and go into relative hiding while working on the Vanger Mystery.

In selecting Blomkvist for the job, the Vanger family lawyers have hired Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace), a young hacking genius and troubled byproduct of the flawed child protection system, to provide a background check on Blomkvist.

Intrigued by Blomkvist\’s apparent lack of resistance to his charges, Salander remains fixated with him after her assignment is concluded, and eventually finds herself intertwined in the murder investigation; an investigation that unravels a string of gruesome murders, which all point to the Vanger family.

For lovers of Stieg Larsson\’s Millenium Trilogy, just the thought of the arduous challenge of faithfully transposing these very intricately plotted and masterfully told books into film may be enough to cause some anxiety.  I am happy to report that the film is a rare success.

The plot has been changed from the novel in part, but only in ways that serve to aid its adaptation to the screen. The key figures remain, and, more importantly, the key narrative thread of musing upon violence against women is delivered without the cushioning commonly found in the typical Hollywood production – which, thankfully, this is not.

Sadly, moviegoers who are discouraged by subtitles will miss out on what could potentially be the best cinema experience of 2010. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a film that masterfully treats mature themes; it is both graphic and brutally honest. It creates complex, believable characters and interweaves a classic murder mystery with well-paced tension to hold your attention over the 2 hour length.

For many, this will – at times – be a very challenging film to watch. It delves into dark, abhorrent places. But this is an integral part of the film\’s (and the book\’s) brilliance. It depicts and explores the very real and horrific treatment of women, who are all too often the victims of sexual and physical assault.

As suspense and tension build towards the climax and the array of murder suspects is implacably narrowed, the viewer is richly rewarded. A must-see, but perhaps not a date film, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is film-making that is first class.

Keeva

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