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|Index||281 reviews in total|
*** 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.
I went to see this based on the trailer, which gave me a totally wrong impression of it, as does the American distribution title. The "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" is really a rather subsidiary character and frankly not very interesting. What this is really about is an uninspired murder mystery, and the real protagonist is yet another investigative journalist, and not one with a whole lot of personality. The actress who plays the titular "girl" makes a pretty sincere effort to turn an unbelievable fantasy into a real person, but I've seen all the relevant clichés rehashed too many times to have much interest in seeing them again. The "magic hacker" trope is relied upon heavily but is never executed very credibly. Once again, we're expected to believe that any kind of data can be downloaded from anywhere as long as you wear something cool enough while you're tapping randomly on the keyboard. It's not a bad movie, but it's nothing special and will mainly appeal to people who have already bought into the whole murder-mystery pot-boiler genre.
"People always have secrets. It's just a matter of finding out what
Forty years ago, Harriet Vanger disappeared from a family gathering on the island owned and inhabited by the powerful Vanger clan. Her body was never found, yet her uncle is convinced it was murder and that the killer is a member of his own tightly knit but dysfunctional family. He employs disgraced financial journalist Mikael Blomkvist and the tattooed, ruthless computer hacker Lisbeth Salander to investigate. But the Vanger's are a secretive clan, and Blomkvist and Salander are about to find out just how far they are prepared to go to protect themselves.
Based on the immensely popular novel by Stieg Larsson, 'The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo' is the first of three films based on Larsson's bestselling 'Millenium Trilogy'. At 2 hours and 32 minutes long, 'The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo' is a tantalising, engaging crime thriller that doesn't let up until the credits roll.
The film's score can be heard before a picture is even seen on screen and sets the tone for the entire movie. What can be heard is a soundtrack that is simultaneously foreboding whilst also creating a sense of urgency. The score continues in much of the same vein for the duration of the film, in that it manages to convey dual emotions, and is uniformly excellent.
The casting of Noomi Rapace as the girl who has the dragon tattoo, Lisbeth Salander, was a stroke of brilliance. Though her character isolates herself and is unsociable, to say the least, Rapace has created an engaging, endearing, likable, piercing character, managing to convey subtle emotions and who holds your attention from the moment she walks on screen. There are no scenes in which Rapace shies away from the task at hand and she's a standout. Michael Nyqvist, with the lesser of the two lead roles, is likable but slightly overshadowed. However, he gives a perfectly acceptable performance. Between the two lead actors there's also a to-and-fro sort of chemistry that works on several levels.
The movie's script is solid. At all times what's being said on screen is interesting and the need to fill every little moment with dialogue doesn't appear in this film. Instead, the script wisely leaves moments of silence which, when coupled with what's occurring on screen, creates a dynamic happening. The script manages to give clues without revealing too much, leaving the details of the final twist to be a shock.
Overall, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is an absorbing film that's well worth watching, even if you don't particularly like foreign films.
"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" is probably one of the most daring
and original films ever made and easily one of the ten best films made
in 2009. This is a film with several different plot lines - one about a
very gifted, but anti-social and violent, outsider named Lisbeth
Salander (Noomi Rapace) who eventually triumphs over amazing odds,
another about a brilliant and gutsy journalist Mikael Blomkvist
(Michael Nvqvist) who takes a chance on a daring story, loses his
reputation and liberty and then searches for a comeback, and another
about a millionaire Henrik Vanger (Sven-Bertil Taube) who, before he
dies, wants to find out who murdered his daughter Harriet - that all
come together in surprising, original and creative ways. This film is
also a murder mystery which is so complex and profound that it is
engrossing to watch Blomkvist and Salander work together in trying to
What I find remarkable about this movie is that Swedish director Niels Arden Oplev and writer Nikolaj Arcel are able to take all these different plot lines and create a uniform masterpiece out of it with great cinematography (and there are some really good images in this movie) to boot. And yes the movie lasts for 2 hours and 30 minutes, but I can say unequivocably that this film is so interesting that I did not notice those 150 minutes go by. Furthermore, the performances in this movie are incredible. Noomi Rapace brings to her performance an intellectual brilliance and frenetic energy - as evidenced even by the little things like smoking one cigarette after the next or the abrupt way she interacts with others - that makes the character Lisbeth Salander fascinating to watch. Michael Nyqvist is also wonderful as the journalist Blomkvist who develops the most unexpected, but nonetheless believable, relationship with Salander. But even my assessment here does not give this film its proper due. I feel like telling everyone don't ask me about the plot and don't ask me about the characters. Just watch the movie and experience it for yourself. I would recommend "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" to anyone, except to those under the age of 18 since they are likely to be very disturbed by the graphic scenes in this picture. This is a film for adults. Thumbs way up.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009)
An ambitious, complex (at first), offbeat Swedish thriller. There are some really refreshing aspects, not the least is the two main characters, who are not the stereotypes that American (and British) movies seem to be trapped into. That is, these two are really interesting, and driven to succeed, and not just pretty or suave or sexualized. So we focus on the plot for its own sake, and the characters for theirs, avoiding at least some of the threadbare clichés of this kind of step by step detective/conspiracy thriller.
At first the story will seem overly convoluted, but it's nice to remember those certain movies where you have to trust the story to explain itself over time, which it does. Movies that don't dumb down, which this one doesn't. There are, unfortunately, some apparently necessary familiarities with uncovering a crime, like photos that get blown up to reveal new details, and tie-ins with mythic or medieval sources (in this case, an old Bible). And the mistreatment of women. There is also a sense that the perpetrator, since he or she isn't known to the viewer, is a bit abstract, and not, until the end, a threat.
This throws our attention on the quest for information, and on the two leads. The idealistic reporter, played by Michael Myquist, and the counter culture corporate spy, a young woman with piercings and a troubled past, played by Noomi Rapace, are absolutely first rate. They underplay their rather juicy parts. Admiration goes especially for Rapace, who could have hammed this up terribly, or just cheapened her role, but she does a prize-winning twist on all that, and you come to like her more and more as it goes.
The last two minutes? Boy I hated that. It's as if a certain honesty and love of pure truth and justice is thrown out the window for glitz and artifice. But wow, the two and a half hours up to that point are riveting, wonderful stuff. And American viewers should know that this is just the first third of a trilogy, already filmed and released in Sweden, so there's still a wild, intelligent ride ahead.
In one of the most pleasant surprises to grace the screens in 2010, The
Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (or if you prefer, Män som hatar kvinnor)
is one of the best films of the year so far. Director Niels Arden Oplev
has placed a stamp on foreign and independent cinema in a big way that
I haven't seen since Fernando Mierelles blazed the screens with City of
Oplev's Swedish-language film, based on the popular book series by the late Stieg Larsson, and adapted for the screen by Nikolaj Arcel & Rasmus Heisterberg, tells the story of a journalist and a female computer hacker, who's paths cross in order to solve a 40-year old missing person case within a powerful and corrupt family, where no one trusts no one. The film is such a terrific and smart thriller, encapsulating all the great things about the mystery genre into one tightly wrapped cinematic experience.
One of the most spectacular things to come out of the film is the breakthrough and stellar performance of newcomer Noomi Rapace, who sizzles in her role as "Lisbeth Salander," the guarded yet vulnerable computer genius, who finds herself drawn to the honorable "Mikael Blomkvist" played tenderly by Mihcael Nyqvist. Rapace bares her soul in the complex Lisbeth, which allows her to keep the audience at a distance, never allowing us near unless she gives permission. It's a rare experience in film to feel so distant from a character yet yearn and fight to be close and understand them, that's the achievement of Rapace's performance.
Nyqvist is the film's Knight in shining armor, trusting himself to the character and laying it down so effortlessly. He gains the trust and admiration of the audience early on and sustains it for the long runtime of 2 hours and 34 minutes. The rest of the cast, all turn in superb and fierce performances from the grotesque family members to the heinous and evil parole guardian, you will find yourself on a emotional roller-coaster.
What the film does is set the pace and the excitement for the future adaptations of the series, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, all slated for releases in the next year. Hopefully with its very independent and limited release, a honorable movie-goer can experience the new generation of mystery films standing next to the greatness of Alfred Hitchcock's infamous thrillers in his career. Oplev and his writing team reinvent the genre and raise it to new levels.
Mikael Blomkvist,a financial journalist,publisher and co-owner of the independent magazine Millennium loses a libel case bought by magnate Hans-Erik Wennerstrom,so takes leave of absence to enable the magazine's survival.Mikael is astonished to be summoned to meet the reclusive millionaire Henrik Vanger,who asks Blomkvist to solve the long-ago mystery of his granddaughter Harriet's presumed murder.Vanger has had Mikael checked out by a detective agency which has hired 24-year old drop-out Lisbeth Salander to hack into his computers.Aided by Lisbeth,Mikael pieces together the complicated Vanger family relationships and series of murders of young women during 50's and 60's.Eventually the two of them come close to discovering what happened to Harriet,only for Mikael to find himself in great danger as a result.Taut and suspenseful crime thriller with few shocking set-pieces,excellent acting and nail-biting mystery.I haven't read the novel by Stieg Larsson,but I'd like to someday.The story is very dark and there are some disturbing scenes.8 out of 10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
As a virgin coming into this film; I was very impressed. Having heard
nothing but great things said about the book, expectations were pretty
high but the film delivered.
The mystery is a good one; yes, somewhat clichéd as far as the bible quotes are concerned but well written, suspenseful and always interesting. It's a nice touch how clues are always scattered about and some really insightful viewers may pick up on it.
Now the characters; Mikael Blomkvist (Nyqvist) is the disgraced journalist who, thanks to his dogged dedication in pursuit of the truth no matter what the cost, gets lured in by a wealthy man to try and solve a forty year old mystery. Lisbeth Salander (Rapace) is the emotionally scarred, tattoo filled and pierced computer hacker who eventually teams up with Blomkvist in his search for the truth. These are two interesting characters, somewhat a cliché if you want to focus on the negative but well played out; especially Lisbeth who we'll probably get to know better in subsequent films. Blomkvist somewhat takes a backseat to Lisbeth but the two complement each other very well.
Along with being a good mystery and suspense film; "Man som hatar kvinnor" is also quite the brutal film, with excessive scenes of rape, beating and utmost humiliation. While somewhat tough to watch, they don't feel out of place and do enhance the plight of one of it's main characters.
Technical credits here are also top notch. Terrific cinematography and beautiful scenery abound here, top notch music score as well. All actors come off well, particularly Rapace as Lisbeth.
If they do as well with the subsequent films in the series we're well on our way to a great Swedish trilogy of suspense films; and that's only a good thing.
"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" is hardly what I expected from the
highest grossing Swedish film of all time. Maybe it's the graphic rape,
I don't knowI was expecting something more commercial. The good news
is that in such moments, "Dragon Tattoo" is disquietingly powerful. The
bad news is that they lie few and far between an otherwise mediocre
mystery. Swedish actress Noomi Repace plays the eponymous lead, Lisbeth
Salander, and brims with a badassery on par with Franka Potente of "Run
Lola Run." She's terrific, but let me say this up frontThe character
and her performance are better than the film (or at least its second
The first seventy-five minutes impressively juggle gritty, squeamish scenes of Lisbeth's abuse at the hands of her slimy probate and her subsequent revenge, with a straightforward, slow-paced thriller involving Mikeal Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist), a journalist convicted of libel, being privately hired to shed light on a long cold family kidnapping case. The two threads are remarkably dissimilar in theme and style, and it's a peanut butter and jelly situation for the film; they complement each other ideally, preventing the other from becoming tiresome.
But as should be expected from a story with simultaneously unraveling plot lines, we soon reach their intersection, and although it's a matter of personal preference, for me "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" flounders once its characters coalesce. For starters, Lisbeth's infinitely more interesting arc (and consequently, its stylish flourish) is swallowed by Mikeal's when she becomes his investigatory partner midway through the film. The 'straightforward, slow-paced thriller' takes hold, with the odd addition of a buddy cop dynamic. Generations collide! Lisbeth understands computers and Mikeal has antiquated taste in music!
It's a weird turn, and one I don't think "Dragon Tattoo" really recovers from. The character of Lisbeth is far and away its highlight, and if anything, as the film progresses, her role becomes increasingly marginalized. She loses the snap and snarl that she has independently as she and Mikeal inevitably get intimate, and maybe for some, watching the two change each other as the case comes into focus will be the emotional apex, but I found it a disappointing detour. Lisbeth's act of unflinching vengeance early in the film is neither topped nor matchedShe becomes more boring in Mikeal's presence.
Maybe it's that a relationship in general doesn't feel convincing for so scarred a character. Certainly this is the implication of Lisbeth's interest in sex above intimacy, but it feels like a requisite development dictated by genre expectation rather than an organic attraction between the two characters. That she uses sexuality as a vehicle for self-empowerment is an interesting angle, but then I don't buy the legitimate affection later on. Lisbeth has a photographic memory and is haunted by her pastShe isn't the sort of person whom I believe has a dormant tenderness.
"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" is long, and by the end of the engagement, I felt exactly what the dual story lines prevented me from feeling: tired. The wrinkles in the mystery aren't especially surprising, and the plot is stretched to the point that I'm almost inclined to forget what I found initially so compelling about the characters because where it takes them is so much less so. Lisbeth is fiercely independent, and watching her emasculate her pervert probate has a gratifying brutality that seeing her play second fiddle in a PI procedural couldn't hope to.
My mixed feelings about the film make it difficult to consolidate a final score, so I'll leave it here: "Dragon Tattoo" is a film I half-liked.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Dragon Tattoo" starts well, introducing its characters with depth and
a measured pace not usually found in thrillers unless they were
directed by Polanski before this century. Unfortunately, this stately
poise never allows it to pick up the energy necessary to deliver real
thrills, and somewhere in the second hour it loses the intelligence and
grace of the first act. Then it becomes idiotic. Then it gets boring.
A procedural drama is fine. A procedural drama spiced with dynamic, interesting characters is better than that. But a serial killer working with biblical references? Really? At this late date? Add to that a tendency to shoot multiple scenes to deliver information that could be processed in a shot, plus falling action nearly as long as any one of the acts proper, and you're trying my patience.
And this movie's real plot begins with a howler: a smart guy and a smarter guy both fail to recognize that a girl who sends a very specific message once a year has probably not been dead for forty. Their even smarter assistant not only doesn't notice their stupidity, she abets it. After that kind of misstep, it's difficult to keep my feet in this languorous waltz with Queen Mab. Finally I had to put them up on the seat in front of me and wait for Noomi to take her clothes off again, which she didn't do nearly often enough.
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