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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Girl with dragon tattoo comes as a good mystery film that full of
suspense and thriller and with a excitement like a b-movie this
ambitious mystery crime drama also delivered it with an unique and
interesting central character that deeply acted by a tremendous actor
The story follows a ambitious journalist named Mikael Blomkvist, a journalist who worked for the magazine Millennium, lost a libel case brought on by corrupt Swedish industrialist Hans-Erik Wennerström. The magazine & he were ordered to pay for damage and Blomkvist was due to head for prison in the next few months.
While waiting to serve his sentence, Blomkvist was approached by Henrik Vanger's representative. After some hesitation, he came to see Mr. Vanger, the frail & wealthy octogenarian of The Vanger group, who lived in a remote island, surrounded by other family members' houses.
It turned out Mr. Vanger wanted to hire Blomkvist to unearth the truth behind his niece Harriet's apparent murder some forty years ago when she was sixteen. Although her body was never found, Mr. Vanger believed it was murder because that day there was an accident on the only bridge that linked the island with the mainland. The bridge was closed, nobody could get out & nobody could get on the island. Yet, Harriet just vanished into thin air. There's not a day gone by which Mr. Vanger didn't think about her.
Before going to the island to see Mr. Vanger, Blomkvist didn't know that he was being followed & photographed by Lisbeth Salander, a punk who made a living as a computer hacker.
The young woman had problems of her own. Due to crime committed in her youth ( later we learnt that when she was much younger, she had set fire to a man, presumably her abusive father, in a car ), she had to report to a guardian who controlled her money. One day, he forced her to give him a blow job or else he threatened to accuse her of causing trouble and have her put into a psychiatric hospital.
When Blomkvist found out his PC had been hacked into he was able to trace back to Salander & came to her place. He persuaded her to collaborate with him in the investigation of Mr. Vanger's niece. Together they dug up more troubling and disturbing information. The story of course was perfectly written with a lot of twist in it and make it mysteriously dark disturbing at some point making this a really good crime movie with it's own charm. And also with a weird chemistry that later builds between Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth salander that also make the movie more exciting and fun in a bizarre way make the movie character looks like a dark moody and bizarre version of starsky and hutch. I really recommend this to anybody who like a crime drama movie with an interesting central character and with an acting that really lives up the movie this is really a must watch crime drama on it's own creativity
Without having read the book at the time of watching this incredible movie, I found it very stunning. The movie grips you from the beginning and doesn't disappoint as it moves through a complicated story. The movie doesn't shy away from graphically explaining the elements and harshness of the stories many plot lines from intersecting in a twist of movie making greatness. Noomi plays Lisbeth so close to the book that you think Steig wrote her character with Rapace in mind all the way. The best part of the movie is that you can then move right into the sequels without having to wait. Thankfully, the Swedish makers didn't wait in between films and released all three in the same year, 2009. The makers of the movie also did not dilute the movie or 'dumb it down'. It's an excellent movie based on some very disturbing themes.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Shortly after receiving a six month jail sentence, which he won't start
serving for six months, journalist Mikael Blomkvist receives an
interesting job offer; Henrik Vanger, an elderly man, wants him to
investigate the disappearance, and presumed murder, of his great niece
who was last seen when she was sixteen in 1966. He is convinced that
the killer must still be alive as somebody is sending him pictures of
flowers each birthday just as she did; clearly somebody out there is
taunting him. Before hiring him Henrik had Blomkvist checked out by a
security company who employed young hacker Lisbeth Salander to
investigate him; she continues to show an interest in him and follows
his investigations by hacking his laptop. She makes an important
breakthrough and contacts him; after that they join up and continue an
investigation that unearths murders of women going back to the '40s,
Nazi sympathisers within Vanger's family and ultimately the realisation
that the killings have not stopped and they are in grave danger.
That covers the core mystery but almost as important is Lisbeth's back story; we learn early on that she is in the official custody of a state appointed guardian who has the power to have her sent back to a psychiatric unit if she doesn't do what she is supposed to. When given a new guardian he uses this authority to force her into performing sexual favours and ultimately, in a particularly gruelling scene he rapes her. She shows her strength by later turning the tables on him; it isn't for some time though that we learn what her original offence was.
Having watched several Scandinavian TV dramas in the last few years I was keen to see this film; I must say I was not disappointed... although I do wish the subtitles had been a little larger! At two and a half hours it isn't a short film but I never found myself looking at the clock as the time flew by. The characters were great; particularly Blomkvist and Lisbeth; actors Michael Nyqvist and Noomi Rapace did a fantastic job bringing the characters to life. The mystery itself was gripping and there were a few edge-of-seat moments when it looked as if one of the investigators might not survive. There are a couple of particularly gruelling scenes of a sexual nature, that earned the film its '18' certificate, which might put off some viewers however if you can get through those there isn't anything else too disturbing. Aside from having great characters and an interesting mystery the film looks great with beautiful Swedish winter scenery. I can't say how good an adaptation of the book this is or how it compares to the more recent English language remake but I'd certainly recommend it to anybody wanting a thriller that doesn't over rely on nonstop action or special effects.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
My wife is a constant reader and she spoke highly of the trilogy of
novels, the first being the book this movie was made from. So now we
are in the process of watching all three, which were apparently all
filmed in succession over about 18 months. We watched with the dubbed
English sound track. The dubbing is done very well, fairly closely
matching the mouth movements.
Michael Nyqvist is Mikael Blomkvist, investigative journalist who writes an expose' but appears to have been set up. His source materials either disappear or appear to be fakes, and is ultimately convicted of slander and scheduled to spend 6 months in jail.
Meanwhile Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander, a very unusual 24-yr-old, short haircut, multiple piercings, and always in black, crosses Mikael's path. She is an expert computer hacker and insightful investigator on her own, and digs into his life. What she finds is that he in fact is innocent, an honest man. They eventually work together to solve a 40-yr-old mystery.
The mystery is the disappearance of Harriet Vanger, only 16, and since then presumed murdered. This happened in the 1960s, but a body was never found. The elder Vanger patriarch wants Mikael to investigate and solve the mystery. He believes one of the Vanger family members, which includes several Nazi sympathizers, must be the guilty party.
During this first movie we also get a glimpse of Lisbeth's past, which included a stay in a mental facility, and an overseer who abused her. We also see the video she made secretly, which is destined to show up again in the other movies.
All the characters are good, but I can't say enough about Rapace as Lisbeth. She creates a character as memorable as any. More closely akin to Nikita than anything else. This DVD has a 12 minute interview with her, in English. I am glad I saw the movie first, because Rapace in real life looks and acts nothing like Lisbeth. She made quite a transformation for the role.
Good movie, even though it is long at around 2 1/2 hours, I was always anxious for the next scene, the next development. Now I am interested in what the American remake will be, but I can't imagine that it will be as good as this one.
Major Spoiler: As the investigation into Harriet moved along, using old information and old negatives from the 1960s, plus notations in the back of Harriet's bible, Lisbeth figured out the notations referenced bible verses. This led to the realization that the murdered people were Jewish. Eventually this led to one of the Vanger men, and then figuring out that Harriet had fled before she too became a victim. They located her in Australia, brought her home for the reunion with her elderly uncle who was looking for closure before he died.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Based on the novel of the same name by Steig Larsson, having a title
such as Men Who Hate Women clearly states that the film is disturbing.
There are two main characters. Mikael Bloomkvist, a disgraced and
humiliated journalist who is called upon by an ostracized member of the
Vagner family to investigate the disappearance and possible murder of
his niece Harriet. The other main character is the one that really
grabs our attention. Lisbeth Salander, a strange, tattooed and pierced
24 year old who professionalizes in computer hacking. Her attention is
fixed on violence against women, in which her own presence is a
repeated victim of. A group of male thugs beat her, her guardian (which
I don't remember why she needs him, but it's explaind in the later
episodes) viciously and repeatedly rapes and beats her, all with no
general reason except that she is a woman, living in a sadist man's
However, it becomes clear throughout the course of the film, that Lisbeth is a woman who does not take any crap from anyone. She scares the misogynist group of youths away with a broken bottle, screaming like a panther, leaving them shocked that she would defend herself and not succumb to their violence. She allows herself to get raped a second time only to video tape it, therefore using it against her rapist. She tortures him very brutally, sexually abusing him and tattooing him for what he really is, a sadist and a rapist pig. I found myself smiling when she did this.
She and Mikael come together in the middle of the film and they work on the case, leading them to shocking discoveries of brutal and hateful grisly murders, the story getting more and more twisted just like a normal good thriller should. Lisbeth is really the true heroine of the stories; a weird, strong and fascinating creature, played brilliantly by Noomi Rapace. The film, long, graphic, gory and very hard to watch and follow, is a brilliant Swedish masterpiece.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I finished reading the book yesterday and immediately added the movie
to my instant que on my netflix and proceeded to watch it. Well I had
high hopes for the movie, it got so many good reviews. But I was
completely let down, in comparison to the book that is. Several plot
elements and relationships weren't in the movie at all characters too.
Mikael's character was not fleshed out at all and you didn't really
feel any motivation for why he was doing what he was doing at all. The
character of Lisbeth, I thought was well done, but I felt that the
relationship between her and Mikael felt rushed and had no emotion...
you didn't get her struggle with her feelings for Mikael. The plot time
line was mixed up and everything, and the Millennium magazine seemed to
have been tacked on to the movie, when it really does play a Major role
with Mikael and the Vanger Family but was only a foot note in the
Though if I had never read the book I think the movie would have been OK, I think the characters could have been fleshed out and I felt the conclusion was rushed quite a bit. But I consider it a good mystery/thriller, though it could have been so much better.
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2009) (Swedish books and movies) I had not read the Swedish book(s). The Steig Larsson books are still best sellers. I watched the movies with my wife who helped me follow the complex plots. The Swedish actors, accents, personalities and interaction are typically European and gritty. Dubbed English and closed captions make the content understandable. The Dragon Tattoo books and movies are complex, violent thrillers. Stop here spoiler alert. These movies depict multiple murders, political intrigue and graphic sexual torture. The movies run 2 to 2 ½ hours but don't drag. Sexual activity is explicit but not erotic. The Swedish author Stieg Larsson began the books as a hobby and later learned their market value. Larsson was a workaholic, ate junk food, was a heavy smoker and died prematurely of a heart attack. The foreign films are well worth watching. Noomi Rapace is excellent as Lizabeth, the tattooed girl. Journalist Michal Bloomkist works tirelessly to solve the crimes. A caring relationship between the two protagonists continues in the books and movies. I also enjoyed The Girl Who Played With Fire (2009) and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest (2009)
This is an excellent movie with a standalone plot, so that you wouldn't
necessarily have to plan to watch parts 2 and 3 of "The Girl" trilogy.
The plot contains mystery, suspense, action, and closure.
The two main actors, Rapace and Nyqvist, do such a great job of creating characters that that you might come to know and like that you might feel compelled to follow them into parts 2 and 3; if so, you should plan on watching both of those, as 2 leads right into 3.
The supporting actors are supportive, and the bleak winter Swedish landscape contributes to the pleasurable and menacing tone of the film.
One of the most enjoyable movies that I have treated myself to, after reading the excellent books. I should add that this movie contains "very mature" themes.
The Millennium Trilogy has become a publishing sensation, selling
millions of around the world and made its author Stieg Larsson a
household name after his death. A film adaptation was always going to
be in high demand and the Swedish version is to make a feature film of
the first novel and TV adaptation of the other two novels and The Girl
With the Dragon Tattoo is one of the most successful Swedish films to
Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) is a journalist who has been sued for libel and sentenced to three months in prison. With his reputation in tatters a major industrialist, Henrik Vanger (Sven-Bertil Taube) hires him to investigate an old mystery, the disappearance of 16-year-old great-niece Harriet (Julia Sporre). What makes the mystery even deeper is that it happened on an island that had no access to the mainland, no body was ever found and the Vanger family is distrustful, hateful bunch, so murder seems likes the only explanation. Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) is a skilled private investigator and a computer hacker and she has a very dark and troubled pass. A sadistic lawyer, Nils Bjurman (Peter Andersson) has control over her finances and Lisbeth has to find a way to neutralise him. Both Blomkvist and Salander are brought together and investigate what happen to Harriet, finding that something much bigger has been going on.
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is a great novel, a real page turner making the reader really wanting to find out what happens next. Niels Arden Oplev and his writing team really a really great job at adapting the novel. If you are a complete purist you will never be happy with film adaptation but The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo does not cut much out, only a few subplots and change a few elements to avoid the film being over loaded with characters. The only changes that really cause any problems are the offer to Blomkvist for him to take what is a seemingly thankless job, his relationship of his daughter and his distrust of religion and some elements involving the business of Millennium which becomes important later in the series. But these are fairly minor and the film does a good job at getting round these issues.
Oplev certainly made a stylist thriller and for a film that is 2 hours, 20 minutes long, he made sure that his adaptation was a tense, fast pace affair. Scenes of particular note are when Lisbeth are with Bjurman, where you could cut the tension with a knife because of the strong interplay by Rapace and Andersson and Oplev handling behind the camera. This is a dark moody film, filled with great acting throughout. The cast really fitted their roles being very much like their counterparts in the book. Anderson was particularly creepy as Bjurman and Rapace had a lot of fight in her as Lisbeth. Nyqvist made a really good Blomkvist and I want to see what The actors in the Hollywood version have a lot to live up to. Oplev made sure that his version is very hard hitting film but so is the book and Larrson did not hold back. Everything worked in this film, the music, the editing, the cinematography and art direction. It is a well made adaptation.
One criticism I have of the books is that I find some of Larrson's characterisation of some of his villains. In The Girl in the Dragon Tattoo it was very complex and believable about how sadists, rapists and serial killers are like, but later on Larrson goes for big conspiracy theories about big business and Security Services and most of the bad guys are hate women, blaming them for all their problems. There is also Larrson's politics, pretty much everyone good is centre-left, no one is even mildly conservative and Larrson has a real disrespect for the centre-right. I have same problem with Tom Clancy who idealises Ronald Regan and most the Republican party and vigilantes and anyone who is a Democrat or a peace activist or supports anything the Republicans disagrees with is a someone who wants to hold back or destroy America and the West: rant over!
I'm not going to tell what is going to happen on the movie, I don't want to spoil it. But I'll give you a hint, get all 3 movies and arrange that it is possible to watch them all at one day (takes about 9-10 hours), just in case because when you start watching it is possible that you cannot stop watching. That happened to me, it was so exciting that I had to watch them all before going to bed. I've seen about 4000 movies and this trilogy and all the 3 movies are one of the best I've seen. All the three movies are really perfectly connected to each other and it is impossible to know what is going to happen next. I Just cannot understand why they haven't give a Oscar for this movie. You can compare this to the lord of the rings or Rocky-movies but in this trilogy the story continues in next movie and I can imagine how hard it must have been to edit the movies so that the intensity stays continuously. They succeeded perfectly. If you haven't seen this movie or the trilogy before, buy it no matter what is the price, You'll get good value for your money. I watched trilogy yesterday for the first time and now i'm going to do it again. That should tell you something...
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