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Mikael Blomkvist is a staunch reporter, now facing jail-time for a fabricated exposé on a businessman. His face is everywhere, and he takes a leave of absence from his paper to avoid sullying its name with the scandal. With time before his sentence is carried out and nothing to lose, he agrees to investigate a 40-year-old murder case, where he partners up with a Goth expert hacker, Lisbeth Salander. The duo have an amusing odd couple dynamic, and in general, the characters are interesting and memorable. This is a deeply disturbing, gritty, brutal, dark film(albeit the amount of actual blood and gore is small; the sexual content is strong and plentiful). The thematic of authority figures abusing their power and particularly attacking women(the original title of Men Who Hate Women seems far more fitting than this "Dragon Tattoo" stuff, but oh well) is explored well. This has a fantastic pace, the two hour, twenty minute running time flies right by. The mystery is gripping, and it keeps you guessing whilst allowing the viewer to piece it all together as the leads do so. And the investigation isn't made easier by the entire Vanger clan being suspects for the death of, well, one of their own, so they could inherit the empire(and no two of these people can stand each other... so, really, just like any other family). That does bring me to one issue; there are entirely too many people to keep track of, specifically in this mass of potential killers. We can't remember all of them(the one aspect where that is true of this movie, and where I could see this being better as a mini-series), and it feels like a side-effect of this being a novel adaptation(I can't compare the two versions, as I have not read it), since books can spend more time delving into a large ensemble. The humor is bleak and, in a cynical way, satisfying. This has phenomenal acting, particularly by Rapace. Her role is intriguing, and you want to know more about her. This feels really credible(everyone's actions make sense) and realistic. I haven't watched this dubbed, but like I always say on this issue, deal with the subtitles. It's best in the native tongue. The DVD comes with "exclusive"(they look like the ones they showed in theatres when these were coming out) trailers for this, the second one and a teaser for the third one. I recommend this to anyone who can handle the content. 8/10
What a seemingly insurmountable task to adapt and execute the multiple
story lines and brimming of Stieg Larsson's novel "The Girl with the
Dragon Tattoo." Despite all the slicing and dicing (yet still a
two-and-half-hour run time), credit belongs to this Swedish filmmaking
team for still managing to replicate the novel's extraordinary pacing.
The sacrifice, unfortunately, is tone. In spite of the length, director Niels Arden Oplev makes the film into a full-on sprint. We never get a chance, with the exception of the magnetizing character that is Lisbeth Salander and Noomi Rapace's performance as her, of getting under the story's or characters' skin. We barely have enough time to really understand what kind of a character Mikael Blomqvist (Michael Nyqvist) is before he's engrossed in solving the film's core murder mystery. Yet despite all those complaints, would I or anyone be able to do any better without needing to make the film in two parts? I'd like to think there's a way, but I would not volunteer the man-hours necessary to carve it out.
"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" tells the story of a business reporter named Mikael Blomqvist who ends up disgraced when he loses a libel suit thanks to faulty information used in an article trying to take down a billionaire. Needing to lay low, he receives a call from another rich businessman, Henrik Vanger (Sven-Bertil Taub), who offers Blomqvist ridiculous compensation to work on solving a 40-year-old mystery involving Vanger's missing niece, who he believes was murdered.
Meanwhile, Lisbeth Salander (Rapace) is an information collector (aka hacker) with a troubled past and a number of tattoos and piercings who is doing her own research on Blomqvist and ultimately ends up getting wrapped up in solving the mystery as well.
Although iffy on what it cuts from the book and what it alters, the adaptation succeeds at juxtaposing a lot of separate scenes in the novel into one sequence in the film. A common method for combining story lines and sub plots, this is particularly effective in picking up the suspense. As such, the film flows well and the key moments like the end and some pivotal events in the Salander subplot do not lack the impact or intensity that they require.
"Dragon Tattoo" moves at an entertaining clip, but never engulfs you like the novel and that will ultimately lead countless people to declare the books "so much better." The themes, tone and depth simply do not exist. I imagine some of the production elements such as cinematography and a better score come with a lack of budget too, so that doesn't help matters. Yet strong performances and entertainment value in this film do echo what made Larsson's book so wildly popular.
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I decided to go all-out and give myself the full Millennium experience
by watching the TV miniseries (9 hours in total) over the space of
three nights. As a result, these reviews are of the extended,
three-hour editions of each film rather than the condensed, theatrical
Wow. I loved it. I'm not a huge fan of the crime genre, and I haven't read the books, but THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO is a difficult film to fault. It's a mature and mannered piece of film-making, dealing with adult and taboo themes and wrapping the reader up in a realistic and conscious mystery yarn.
Despite the slow pacing, the movie is thoroughly engaging. Michael Nyqvist and Noomi Rapace are both excellent leads, bringing to life fully flesh and blood characters who engage the reader's sympathy and emotions throughout. The thriller aspects of the story are exciting and as a whole this is a mature and fully developed piece of work. Onto the next...
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have heard of the substantial changes in the plot from the novel's. Usually in cases like these it will cost the movie a huge rating off my list for distorting the original source material, unless it is for a good reason. But so what? Just by solely comparing this to the American remake, this is still much better as a movie, due to the following reasons: plot flow makes more sense (many things that were not conveyed properly in the American version is explained very well here), more development flow especially from the lead characters (you get to hear more of their thoughts) as compared to the 'plastic' facade of the lead characters in the American version. And setting-wise, it looks more realistic to me. Actions make more sense. For example, how the American version of Lisbeth is able to, all by herself, physically intrude upon so many P&C files, across secured buildings without much disruption or paperwork, and in such a short time, is such an imaginary James Bond-feel that will never happen in real life. In this Swedish version, her research relies more on hacking and on third parties to carry out her work. The Lisbeth in this version is less omnipresent in a way, which is in turn more believable.
This movie is quite good and enjoyable only if you've read the book before , or else it's a bit confusing.Some elements were missing and the plot escalated too quick-especially in the beginning.The fact that I've read the book before was very useful-it helped me understand the movie better. The characters weren't portrayed too well and the relationships between them weren't emphasized enough.The members of the family weren't well presented as well,so you probably would have no idea who are they(unless- again-you read the book). Probably not the right place for a comparison, but personally I think the American version is better and I suggest you to watch it. This movie could have been much better if there were more details and elements you find in the book. Now,I'm not expecting it to be similar to the book,but still.... With indulgence, 7.5/10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Haven't read the book or seen the Hollywood remake, but having recently
enjoyed the likes of "Borgen" on TV I wanted to experience the Swedish
original adaptation of the Stiegg Larssen best-seller (subtitled
version). I wasn't disappointed. An ingeniously plotted whodunnit
thriller, it cleverly sets out its stall, clues, suspects and all and
weaves them all together before tying up every loose end by the final
scene. It also gives us the unforgettable character of Lisbeth, the
punk-ish computer hacker whose distrust and resentment against
patrician older men is explained much later in the piece, at the same
time completing her identification with the missing girl at the heart
of the story.
Probably the most unforgettable scenes are those where she is firstly forcibly raped by her appointed guardian and even more so in the graphic scene where she takes her revenge. I was however unconvinced by her trysts with the investigative middle-aged journalist with whom she forms an unlikely alliance to crack the case, not least as we had previously seen her in bed with another female much earlier.
I enjoyed the Morse-like attention to detail in the 40 year-old mystery, based on the intense scrutiny of snap-shot photography at a town parade and the "Se7en"-like use of themed murders, where the key to the killer's motives are referenced in Biblical quotations. I can forgive this plagiarism when it's as skilfully managed as it is here. Yes, it is asking a lot to swallow that a witness on the same day so long ago would retain an insignificant picture which unwittingly contains the killer's image, but I'll give it the dramatic licence it needs, as it was still an intriguing plot device.
There's a terrific, heart-stopping climax at the killer's lair when Lisbeth comes to reporter Nvqvisst's nick-of-time's rescue immediately followed by an arresting scene where she presumably at last expunges her own demons by refusing to spare the by now helpless killer. The acting throughout is superb by the whole cast and the photography marvellously evocative of the appropriately cold desolate Swedish landscape, the setting for the horrendous crimes. The background music too was apposite and unobtrusive. I look forward to the two successors with relish even if it seems unlikely, given Lisbeth's transformation and migration to sunnier climes in the final moments.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is a review of, Män som hatar kvinnor, also known as "The Girl
With The Dragon Tattoo," the first of the European films based on the
Swedish novels written by Steig Larsson. Bruno Wang loves this
series...far better than vampires or witches! It is the first in the
successful trilogy of Swedish films based on the popular "Millennium"
book trilogy that includes, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl
Who Played with Fire, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest.
This is not a comparison between the European and the American version with Daniel Craig. Both of the films have strong points in their own right. Män som hatar kvinnor is the original 'first film' and it stays very true to the story telling plot of the book series. In addition, it develops the characters on a very deep and emotional level.
In Män som hatar kvinnor, we are introduced to the highly complex Lisbeth Salander (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) and given deep insight into her troubled past and her underlying beliefs about good and evil, right and wrong. All of the main characters are brought to us in a much richer and meaningful way so that we get a true sense of drama as the plot unfolds.
The story surrounds journalist Mikael Blomqvist who must take his leave from Millennium magazine after losing a disgraceful libel against a Swedish power broker. Shortly after receiving a jail sentence and fine for libel, Blomqvist is hired by one of Sweden's wealthiest business tycoons, Henrik Vanger. Vanger hires Blomqvist to try to solve a 40 year old murder mystery involving his niece Harriet.
What Salander and Blomqvist quickly discover is the Vanger family has a dark and sordid past and they eventually uncover that certain Vanger family members were involved in brutal, ritualistic serial murders involving young women. The movie is very graphic in its presentation of sexual themes and violence. It is also clear to the viewer that Salander has experienced her own severe emotional trauma - which ultimately leads to her being a champion of the film and a champion of women.
The main theme is that of the hero, Salander, and her ability, along with Blomqvist, to piece together clues in order to solve a four decade murder mystery involving the deaths of young women. However, unlike the American version, in this film we see the real complexity of the hero Lisbeth. When Martin Vangar dies in the fire following the crash of his automobile Blomqvist asks her if she could have saved him and Salander replies; "Yes. But he was evil and he hated women..." Blomqvist then says that is something he could never do. This powerful scene helps set the stage for the next two European films in the trilogy, it helps us to understand the workings of Lisbeth and leaves it to us to judge her actions.
I give this film a Bruno Wang 5 out of 5 stars. Män som hatar kvinnor succeeds in telling a rich story line about the struggle of a young woman who has experienced deep emotional trauma. The film is gripping and also filled at times with very disturbing imagery.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I felt like writing about the movie after watching David Fincher's
remake of the movie, which i felt was totally pointless and was no way
better than the Swedish original. Lisbeth Salander, played by Noomi
Rapace, is a computer hacker who draws a few 'raised eyebrows' with her
sartorial and tonsorial preferences. She's consigned to a sex-starved
businessman after the death of her mother. The man who is supposed to
take care of her, takes advantage of her for she's dependent on him for
allowances and uses her to satisfy his sexual pleasures. Mikael, a
financial journalist buried in a scandal, is hired by wealthy patriarch
Harriet Vanger to solve the case of his missing daughter. Lisbeth helps
Mikael find out every single detail pertaining to the events before and
after the missing of Mr.Vanger's beloved daughter. They finally crack
the case. Lisbeth helps Mikael prove his innocence; he is found 'not
guilty' of the conviction. Lisbeth uses her expertise in hacking to
rake in billions of Swedish kronas and flees the country disguised as a
It is one of the best thriller movies of the modern day with a totally unpredictable plot. Noomi Rapace's performance will perhaps remain the best performance by an actress in a leading role in a foreign language film for a long time. The editing of the movie couldn't have been better, quite exquisite. A well-made thriller.
Noomi Rapace is Lisbeth Salander, "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," a
2009 Swedish film also starring Michael Nyqvist. The film is based on
the first book of the Millennium trilogy by the late Stieg Larsson.
Nyqvist plays journalist Mikael Blomkvist, a reporter who broke a story about a well-known businessman, was sued for libel, and lost. He knows he was set up, and he has to wait six months for his sentencing. The executives on his newspaper suggest that he lay low for awhile. A paid assignment comes from a member of the powerful Vanger family, Henrik Vanger (Sven-Bertil Taube). Henrik is old and frail, and before he dies, he wants to see if Blomkvist can solve the disappearance of his niece forty years earlier. Blomkvist lives in the guest house of the Vanger mansion and gets to work.
Soon he realizes that he's not alone -- someone -- Lisbeth Salander -- is hacking into his computer and looking into the case as well - not because she has interest in it, but because she's investigating Blomqvist for the security company for which she works, Merrin Security Inc.
Lisbeth is a goth, on probation for a crime we don't learn much about initially. She has been given a new probation officer (called a guardian) who asks for sexual favors in order to grant her money from her account. Despite what she's going through, it doesn't take long for the reporter and the brilliant computer hacker to join forces. They can probably crack the case, but it doesn't seem likely that Blomqvist can ever crack Lisbeth's hard shell. She's a mysterious, pencil-thin, seemingly hard and unemotional woman who won't answer questions about herself.
This is an incredible film that despite its gorgeous cinematography, is very dark, filled with mystery, tension, sexual perversion, murder, monsters, and violence, not to mention a few twists to the story.
Totally absorbing. I have not seen the American version yet, which I understand is also excellent. The performances in this version are marvelous. Somehow Rapace manages to show that Lisa has some vulnerability, and one really roots for her and doesn't blame her for some of her more aggressive actions.
"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" for me was a very raw, intense experience, so I'm not sure I'll see the American version. But I am looking forward to seeing the two subsequent Swedish films from the trilogy. Really excellent, and not recommended for those with a squeamish stomach.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The girl with the dragon tattoo is by far one of the best films I have
seen in years, many years. It felt as if I was watching 2 movies at the
same time. Crime detective work with a feel of a documentary all mixed
together in such a way that I truly couldn't wait to see what happened
next. I found myself playing along, wondering who was the killer, who
was the hero and who in the family were the sociopaths.
When the story focused on Mikael Blomkvist(Daniel Craig) at the beginning I felt as if I was watching a true crime thriller in which there was an obvious foe in which this story would revolve around. Very shortly I was enthralled with Lisbeth Salander(Rooney Mara). I suddenly was watching a docudrama that sucked me in even deeper. I couldn't help but feel pure joy when she confronted her foe. I was feeling emotions that I rarely have felt watching a movie. Never before have I felt so emotional for a character, not just feeling sorry and sadness but excitement, happiness, pleasure and surprisingly a massive adrenaline rush. It was pure. It was jealousy. I wanted more.
Once the two "good guys" teamed up and the story had thickened even more I got pulled in even more, so much so that I didn't want this movie to end. I cheered, literally cheered out loud when they got together. I felt as if this wasn't just a story being told in a movie by some actors but as if they were real people, living, breathing, real people.
Towards the end when Mikael was caught and taken to the "pleasure room" the suspense of it all was truly vicious, so vicious that I was actually sitting on the edge of my seat. That moment when Lisbeth came in I surprised myself by feeling relief, relief that her love, the guy that was going to fix her life and give her back all the things her father stole from her as a girl was safe, safe because of her.
I could go on for hours about this movie and it will definitely will consume hours of my life in the near future when I discuss it with my brother.
Of course however there is one thing that held this movie back from being in the top 3 all time favorite movies of mine. What is it you may wonder and I shall tell you. The End. Yes, the very end of the movie, the last 15 seconds of this movie enraged me, saddened me, just plain broke my heart. I have loved and lost and the pain I felt in the aftermath came back, hit me right in the chest. Even now as I type this I still feel sadness for Lisbeth AND Mikael for they had what few rarely get. TRUE LOVE. The last 15 seconds turned an amazing crime thriller/docudrama into nothing more then a tragedy, as if it was something straight from William Shakespeare himself.
In closing I give this movie a 9 out of 10. It captured me and truly made me feel as if I was a part of this story. It allowed me to feel what I haven't felt in along time, and that folks is what a good movie should do.
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