My past two weeks have been consumed with Girl with the Dragon Tattoo: I read the book in 5 days, saw the film over the weekend, and have continued thinking about the riveting story ever since. Between the haunting Nordic setting, enigmatic characters, and unforgettable plot twists, this story has me hooked!
The film centers around weathered journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) and goth hacker Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) as they research the 1966 disappearance of Harriet Vanger--a member of one of most powerful families in Sweden. Though the Vanger case remained a mystery for over 40 years, Blomkvist and Salander uncover new clues which lead them down a dangerous path.
Not only was this a suspenseful, engaging film, it was one of the best book-to-movie adaptations I have seen in a while. After the first five minutes, I forgot about the Swedish subtitles and immersed myself into the investigative thriller. The film not only stays true to the story, it enhances the spectator experience by delineating complex details from the novel (i.e. the filmmakers simplify the perplexing Vanger family tree through photographs and montage sequences). I was also impressed with the acting--especially from Rapace in the title role. The only aspect of the movie I did not appreciate was the inclusion of references to the second novel. I have yet to read The Girl Who Played With Fire, yet I feel like I know the basic foundation of Lisbeth's story from the teasers in this film. I suppose the filmmakers felt the need to hook viewers into the trilogy, but I wish they would have dispensed with the spoilers.
Definitely see the film, but read the novel first!