Wednesday, 30 December 2009

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo: Movie Review

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo: Movie Review

Rating: 6/10
Cast: Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace
Director: Niels Arden Oplev
Based on the first of the popular Millennium trilogy books by Swedish author Stieg Larsson, this adaptation sees Michael Nyqvist playing an idealistic Swedish journalist Mikael Blomkvist who's called in to investigate a family crime.
Blomkvist's just lost a libel case and has plenty of time on his hands - so he's drawn into the disappearance of a 16 year old niece of a wealthy CEO from 40 years ago.
As Blomkvist digs deeper, he's followed by a cyber hacker Lisbeth Salander (Rapace) who believes she has what it takes to help him solve the case.
However, as the case progresses, there are more skeletons in the closet waiting to come out - and both parties have plenty to lose as their respective nooses tighten.
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is a slow burning thriller - despite the beauty of the desolate white Swedish landscapes, there's very little beauty in the thick complicated plot. And in Lisbeth's case, thanks to abuse and some pretty horrific scenes, the darkness is as black as it comes.
It's that darkness which may scare some off - it's not an easy watch. But it'd be wrong to write off the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo - it's a challenging and complex film which requires a depth of intelligence from its viewers to keep up.
Both Nyqvist and Rapace are good in their morally complex roles - you are never really 100% sure who's to be trusted and who you should be cheering for - in fact Lisbeth's character may end up polarizing some even if she is an anti-heroine in the style of the Sopranos - but it's these flaws and foibles which make The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo compelling to watch.
The ultimate denouement (which finally comes after a mammoth 150 minutes) leads to a clutch of unanswered questions. It's these which may tempt you back to rewatch the film to see if there's anything you've missed - and, to say the least, the door appears to be well and truly open for the second and third books to be made into films.

Nyqvist and Rapace make odd bedfellows and an uneasily odd partnership - however, if both are on board for the sequels, I'll be back to see how this trilogy pans out.

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