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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo or as it was originally titled,
Millennium: Part 1: Men Who Hate Women is a very dark movie in the
style of "Silence of the Lambs" and "Seven." It also has a lot in
common with the excellent book Place of Execution by Val McDermid and
its very good TV adaptation, especially in the part that deals with the
investigation of the old disappearance case of a 16 years old girl. It
is interesting that David Fincher who had made"Seven," is working on
the American re- make of the tattooed girl already, even though the
Swedish film was released less than a year ago. The film is good, not
great but certainly very watchable and it is the most interesting when
Noomi Raspace's Lisbeth Salander takes the screen. This is a character
with obviously something so horrifying in her past that had changed her
forever and altered her life in many ways. Lisbeth is a a Computer
hacker of highest class and she helps to the popular but fallen on the
hard times financial journalist Mikael Blomqvist who faces the jail
time for the lost libel case against the powerful industrialist to
solve the cold case of the mysterious disappearance of Harriet Vanger.
The beautiful and sweet 16 year old girl from a wealthy and influential
family disappeared without a trace 40 years ago, and her uncle, 82 year
old Henrik Vanger the owner of Vanger Corporation, wants Mikael to take
a closer look at the case. The film is long, 152 minutes, but is quite
watchable due to good pacing, interesting story, and one of the most
fascinating, complex and enigmatic characters that I've seen in the
movies in long time. Must warn you that the movie fits its original
title Men Who hate The Women and contains several scenes of violence
toward women and equally brutal but in my opinion and in the opinion of
my 80 years old mother and my husband highly justified but difficult to
watch revenge scene. As it is well known, The Girl with the Dragon
Tattoo is the adaptation of the first book in the phenomenally
successful Millennium trilogy by a Swedish journalist Stieg Larsson,
published after his sudden and untimely death. Larsson wrote the books
for his pleasure, and decided to offer them for publication shortly
before his death. Larsen called the first novel Men who hated women,
but it was released in English as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Millennium trilogy is one of the world's best sellers. Three novels were translated to over 40 languages and sold 27 million copies. Larsson stated that the main source of inspiration in create the character of Lisbeth, was Sweden's most beloved heroine of children literature, Pippi Long Stocking by Astrid Lindgren. I would add Pippi the survivor of nightmarish horrible childhood ... I have not read the books yet but I most certainly will and I will be waiting for the rest of the movies' release. I am intrigued by Lisbeth's dark sides as much as her brilliant intellect and her personality. She is the best part of the film and I want to learn more about her.
The copy of this I rented has the presentation of a feature film, but I
think it may have been edited from a Swedish television series adapting
a trilogy of novels, of which this is the first. This version is a
little over two and a half hours, but the IMDb notes that there is a
fuller three hour version which I'm guessing might have been the
original TV presentation. What was in that extra half hour? It might
contain material that answers some of the criticisms I make below, but
I wouldn't want to bet on it.
The basic plot is that an investigative journalist, smarting from losing a libel case brought by a corrupt businessman, and facing a jail sentence (for libel? They must do things differently in Sweden), is hired by a wealthy businessman impressed with his integrity to investigate the disappearance, decades earlier, of his niece. The businessman is convinced (for reasons that are not entirely clear) that she must have been murdered by a member of his family (note that this is a very old-fashioned family-based capitalist enterprise, on the Buddenbrooks model).
With over two and half hours to explore, one might hope for some real plot and character development and some fine dramatic scenes, but the drama is almost entirely dead. Here are some of the things we don't get (I could list more, but am avoiding spoilers):
We get very little idea what the family enterprise actually is. There's a photo of a ship;are they shipbuilders, perhaps? Or are they just exporting goods?
Though the family are mostly gathered on the island, and the investigator assembles a handy photographic family tree, we scarcely get to meet most of them, even less witness any dramatic interplay between them. I remember one scene only in which the family actually get together to attempt to deter the investigator.
We have been assured by the patriarch that the family are greedy, grasping,selfish vipers, but we are treated to none of the dramatic or satirical fun that might come from this.
Though the island has great symbolic significance, it has no cinematic presence at all. The bridge that we are assured is the only way on or off the island might just as well be a bridge across a river for all the difference it makes.There is little sense of remoteness, isolation or confinement.
There is a dark undercurrent of previous Nazi involvement. But this is just stated baldly, as a fact. We get very little idea of what this meant or even really when it was. During the war? Neo-nazi revivalism? Both? And apart from the fact that we can take it as given that Nazis are nasty people, there is no attempt to explore how this actually affects their actions and beliefs.
More simply, what we have here is the Swedish equivalent of an English country house murder, basically dealing with the rich and privileged, and with the cast of suspects conveniently assembled in a single location. But instead of the detective teasing out the solution by interrogating the suspects, playing them off against each other, and catching them out, all we get is seemingly endless shots of the investigator or his computer-whiz sidekick tap-tap-tapping away on their laptops (Apple Macs, if you must know, and heaven knows you get long enough to admire the speed and smoothness of the software).
Look, I know that the Internet and cheap computing has brought about a revolution in thinking and behaving and that film-makers are struggling to come to terms with it, but let me propose a general working rule for film-makers. Computers are not dramatically interesting.
It's like voice-over. You can get away with it a bit, and sometimes it can even enhance a film; but if you find yourself relying on the voice-over, then chances are you've gone wrong. You're failing to tell the story properly in the medium of cinema, and if it's just a straight narration, your audience would be better off reading a book. So it is with computers and internet investigations. You can have a secondary character who's a computer expert, or you can have one episode of intensive computer use if the plot absolutely requires it. But if you find that the whole drama relies on it, or worse, that you have to fill all your screen-time showing it, then you can be sure you've gone badly wrong. Your audience would be better off surfing the net themselves, or composing electronic music, or photoshopping their snapshots, or playing games.
What was that? Oh, yes, the sidekick. Well, that's the woman "with the dragon tattoo", though why she has it I still don't know. It's just the title of the film. She's a young lesbian punk, though hilariously, as in every middle-aged liberal man's fantasy, the investigator succeeds in "turning" her just by the sheer non-sexist force of his personality. Oddly enough, she has her own sub-plot, involving a corrupt "probate guardian" (I think that's a subtitle mistranslation for parole or probation officer), which is much more interesting than the main story, but over rather quickly. This I think, properly scripted, would have made a much more rewarding film of about the standard 90 minute length.
And the libel case comes back at the very end, though bizarrely it seems to have nothing to do with the main story. True enough, life's generally not like that, and not everything is connected, but it is characteristic of the scriptwriter's complete absence of any sense of drama that this opportunity to create some dramatic unity is muffed.
The flashes of sexual violence, just about acceptably presented as would befit a television programme, are nothing more than a desperate attempt to inject some artificial edginess into this ditchwater dull plodding drama.
I was really surprised that this movie got an average 7,8/10 from more
than ten thousand viewers, many of whom must have read the book.
I cannot decide if it is due to the fact that I have read the book and liked it very much. Or to the Swedish acting style (I can reject this theory because I have already seen excellent Swedish films. Older ones and recent ones).
But, people, this movie sucks.
a) Acting is superficial and wooden. The only one who tries to do something, but finally does not succeed, because the others don't help, is Noomi Rapace.
b) The story advances hastily, trying to fit 550 pages into two hours and something. It gives you the feeling that it develops unnaturally and the impression that the filmmaker just took the scenes from the book one by one and "translated" them into film, without caring to connect them in a cinematic way. The language of cinema is completely different. If you don't know the rules, better don't do it.
c) There have been important changes in the story, but they really don't make things better. But don't worry, Sex and Violence scenes are all there, nothing is missing!
d) The technical part (photography,atmosphere, music) is well executed. But this impression lasts only as long as the actors don't start talking.
It is really a pity.
This version being the original is perfection, the US version makes me weak to my stomach. We have a lot of upsetting personal feelings about Hollywood taking this version being a beautiful work of art, and destroying it's flair by making the cheaply crap based Hollywood version remake. I have written many articles on this specific version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and each time I go to see more on this movie online, I see that the US Hollywood Crap version seems to be the first in the searches. Yes this film has subtitles, but the acting, and story-line are of the highest quality. Hollywood cannot conceive the understanding of artistic values, or original creativity they only take from others and destroy the art in cheap remakes. Noomi Rapace is by far an incredible actress, I've watched almost every film she has been in. I also watched every film that starred Rooney Mara which is extremely un- impressive. Rooney Mara is the new Christina Ricci, and in acting abilities it is impossible for her to take the staring role of The Girl with a Dragon Tattoo even in a remake and make it anything realistic. We've written a huge discussion on this film and the rest of the series on our official website. Due to what Hollywood did with this film, and many others; it is if they are just trying to find someone else work and ripp it off.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
When I saw the trailer for this film, I thought, "This is gonna be good!" I had no idea that there were books before, or that the film was in Swedish! And to be perfectly honest i was a bit hesitant to watch it because of the language. I hate dubbed film's it spoils the films originality. So I looked into the subtitled versions i eventually I watched the original extended Swedish version with English subtitles. And boy am i glad i did! The story follows a journalist called Mikael Blomkvist who is about to be sent to jail for publishing an article on a certain man. But he is given 6 months before he goes into jail. He is then asked by another man called Henrik Vanger to help him look for a girl who disappeared 40 years ago. Mikael looks into this case that was closed many years ago and is determined to find this girls body before Henrik dies. Mikael finds this case extremely difficult and i about to give up when a girl called Lisbeth Salander a hacker working for some company, hacks into Mikael's emails and solves one major puzzle for him. he then persuades her to help him in finding the person who was responsible for this girls disappearance 40 years ago. With Lisbeth's help they find a trail of murders that happened through out the years and that all seem to link back to the girls disappearance. This film was very interesting and entertaining and kept me wondering who the killer was right until the end. But it is also quite violent in some parts and also has a lot of swearing through out.(This doesn't bother me, but some people might find it offensive.) Also there is quite a graphic rape scene in the film, no nudity is shown but there is a lot of scream's, this people will find disturbing and difficult to watch (I did!) I thought this movie was very well written and cleverly done, So it deserves 10/10. I haven't read the books so i can't compare. But after i watch the trilogy i may read them! I hope you all find the film as good as i did! Can't wait to see the next episode in the trilogy "The Girl Who Played With Fire!" Which i hope will be as good as the first!!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A true-blooded crime thriller with a good dark atmosphere and very strong story, which certainly is not something unseen in the world of detective fiction, but it comes as a refreshment given to contemporary film offer. Wealthy tycoon Henrik Vanger hires controversial journalist, Mikael Blomkvist, to investigate disappearance of his niece, which happened 40 years ago on the island wholly owned by Vanger family. Blomkvist was sentenced to three months in prison for planted libel against corrupt entrepreneur so Vanger decides to investigate him before hiring. Lisabeth Salander gets the job of investigating Blomkvist but she continues to monitor his computer after the job was done. So, after she sees his new job for Vanger she starts helping him, firstly indirectly and soon directly. Their investigation leads to revelations of dark secrets Vanger family. Although plot is relatively simple, characterization of main characters is thorough which is not strange since this movie is just first in trilogy. In simple words, movie is very good, without both positively and negatively extremes. Perhaps some viewers will not like politicking, and the story certainly could pass without the Nazis, but all in all screenplay seems solid. Acting is at a high level, and there are no big objections on directing. Noomi Rapace that embodies Lisbeth is fantastic, but the rest of the cast is not far away. Perhaps the most remarkable is the atmosphere, which is a typical Scandinavian strong, cold and dark and it suits to story perfectly. The very end is a typical Hollywood and serious viewers will probably feel bitterness because the story had great potential to go in a more interesting and original way.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This lurid but engrossing mystery thriller about a cold-blooded killer who kills women for fun is riveting stuff from start to finish. Danish director Niels Arden Oplev helmed the first of the late Swedish author Stieg Larsson's "Millennium" trilogy of thrillers. Clocking in at 153 minutes, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" is a gripping account of the search for a girl who mysteriously vanished and one of her relatives who hires a journalist who has just lost a libel suit against a billionaire industrialist to find her. Retired industrialist Henrik Vanger hires publisher of the Swedish political magazine Millennium, Mikael Blomkvist, to solve the 40 year disappearance of Henrik's great-niece. Henrik puts Blomkvist on this cold case based on a profile prepared for him by Lisbeth Salander, a computer whiz with a history of having been abused by her father. In flashbacks, we learn that Lisbeth set her abusive father aflame and she has been on probation since the incident. When she starts hacking into Blomkvist's computer to solve the mystery herself, the journalist contacts her and she joins him. Lisbeth knows a whole lot about abuse. Not only did her father take advantage of her, but she finds herself raped and sodomized by her new probation officer. Lisbeth turns the tables on the evil man when he ties her down to a bed and has his way with her. Little does he know that she has recorded a video of him ravishing her. Later, she gains the upper hand, ties him up, and tattoos on his stomach the words "I am a sadistic pig and a rapist" on his stomach. Eventually, as Blomkvist's investigation takes him dangerously close to the truth, the rest of the Vanger family objects, particularly after Henrik suffers a heart attack. Oplev doesn't waste a single second and you cannot take your eyes off Noomi Rapace who plays Lisbeth. "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" is an unforgettable film.
I thought this movie was a well done adaptation of the book! The way I had imagined the characters, buildings, countryside, offices etc while reading all were very similar to how they were portrayed in the movie. However, I'm wondering how much I would have liked it had I NOT read the books. I feel that movie adaptations often leave out a lot of "back-story" and when you add that to having to read subtitles (which seemed very basic) - I really felt I knew more about the story than those who never read the books. I'm not sure if that makes sense, I just think I enjoyed the subtitled movie more because I had read the books. This movie is NOT for kids, or for watching on your iPad on the plane! Some very disturbing scenes.
This is rely great movie and I recommend it to you!Actors gave very good performance and director do very good work!Story is interesting and its not predictable so you will enjoy watching it!This is trilogy and all 3 movies are made same year in 2009 so don't you think that other 2 are made only for taking you money because this is not it!And only when see all 3 movies you will complete the story!This one is the first one and the other 2 are "The Girl Who Played with Fire" and "The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest" in that order!So do yourself a favor and watch this before came Hollywood version because when Hollywood remake see the light of the day you will see that Hollywood again,like every other Hollywood remake,can only to destroy such a great movie like this one is!!!And best recommendations that film can get is that fact that Hollywood take it to remake it with high budget and famous actors!!! My vote is 10/10 and I highly recommend it to all of you who love good movies!
Based on the novel of the same name, this film follows three characters
as they intersect each other's lives. Mikael Blomkvist (Nyqvist) is a
journalist who has just been sentenced to three months in prison after
claims of libel from a corrupt business tycoon. Blomkvist believes he
has been set up but nothing helps his case. He is given six months to
handle his affairs before being locked away. Henrik Vanger is an
elderly man who receives framed, dead flowers once a year from an
unknown source. The flowers used to come from his niece who disappeared
forty years ago and Henrik believes she is dead. He has never given up
hope on finding her and hires Blomkvist to look into her disappearance
to give him piece of mind, especially since he still receives the
flowers. Blomkvist accepts this last job before he goes inside.
Next we introduce the most intriguing movie character I have ever seen, Lisbeth Salander. A socially inept lesbian with short hair, nose, ear and lip piercings and tattoos draped across her back and arms. She is the girl of the title. She is introduced as a researcher who is secretly photographing Blomkvist during his trial. Also being an expert computer hacker she is hacking into his computer so she can see what he sees. After having a troubled up bringing she is left in the care of a guardian, with her Mother in a hospital. Her new guardian however attempts to blackmail her for sexual favours, before savagely raping her, something she manages to film and gain revenge on by tattooing this man's chest. These scenes are some of the most harrowing I have seen and expertly filmed.
During his investigation, Blomkvist is sent an email from Lisbeth which helps him with the clue he is struggling to solve. After this he recruits her to aid in his investigation. This is where the film really gets its wheels. From here on in we dive into a world of family conspiracy, incest and rape and the battle of vulnerable women against controlling men. I did not realise that this is what this film was about. Those of you who have read the book will but those who haven't will get a bit of a shock.
I have to say I struggled to get into the beginning of this film. Many have told me that to enjoy the book you have to persist with the first fifty pages and once you do the book gets a hold of you. I felt this was definitely the case with the film also. It took a while for it to get going and considering it is subtitled I found myself becoming a little switched off. However I'm glad I didn't as once I had got past that section I was gripped. When Blomkvist and Salander finally meet, the film really gets going. Before that seems too long and at that point of the film I thought that too but now I have finished it I realise how important it was in giving insight into the characters, especially Lisbeth.
The plot of the film is nothing to shout about but where the film really grips you is the characters. OK maybe not characters but character. Blomkvist is a little dull and not your typical hero and considering the title of the film, I was surprised to see him be the main character. Lisbeth on the other hand is intriguing. I want to know more about her, even know. Very little is told and the character alone keeps you hooked on the film. She is bigger than the entire plot and she makes you take notice whenever she is on screen. Noomi Rapace is fantastic as her and even manages to give a Gothic woman covered in piercings and tattoos a very sexy edge. The chemistry between the leads is great and the relationship is not clichéd in the slightest.
I don't want to say too much about this film as it is one you really have to see. Get past the first twenty minutes and the subtitles and enjoy the characters on that screen. Lisbeth Salander is fascinating. She is to be played by Kate Mara in the American remake and she has a hell of a pair of shoes to fill. There is so much to enjoy in this movie and 'she' is a character you will all enjoy watching.
The film is definitely for adults only with scenes of violence, rape and bondage but the excellent direction and cinematography handles it all tastefully although they are a little harrowing. The performances in these scenes are just fantastic. I can't state this enough: go and watch this movie.
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