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Review of "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"

By cdahlen · April 7, 2010


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!

posted by Thisguyoverhere

I saw this film based solely on the trailer, not even aware of the novel. I was so impressed with the depth of character that they explored. Usually in mysteries the main character(s) are just vessels for the viewer to get involved in the story, but this film really took the time to lay the foundation for compelling characters to lead the story and not take a backseat to the mystery. I agree that the 'teasers' were a little out of place, but being someone who was unfamiliar with the books, they provided me with enough to ensure that I'll return to the cinema this summer when the sequels are released!

posted by Johanna Friis

Nice review! It's great to see foreign people enjoying this movie as much as we do over here. I also love the fact that you say that you basically forgot the subtitles after watching a while -- the subtitle problem is very commonly used as an excuse as to why foreign language films never "make it" in the States. It's great to hear that there might be a change coming up. And be sure to watch the other movies, the second one not as amazing as this one and the third, "The girl who kicked the hornet's nest".

By the way -- how do you feel about an American remake of this film? Columbia pictures are on their way to producing it with Oscar-winning people. I think it could be great, but not as good as the real deal...

posted by

I can't wait to see the other two films! I'm reading "Girl who Played with Fire" now--gotta catch up with the books before the flicks!

I'm a little disappointed that Hollywood wants to commandeer this story. Hopefully they won't screw it up too much! If the casting rumors are true, I think they really need to go with someone other than George Clooney as Blomkvist. I'd much prefer to see someone like Clive Owen in the role.

Thanks for reading my review!

posted by Fragem

------------------------------ Warning Spoilers ----------------------------------------------

I read the book before I saw the movie. The movie is one of the best book to movie adapation I have ever seen. My recommendation is to see the version with the Swedish language and English subtitles. Part of the fun in seeing foreign movies is to hear the actors speak in their native language.

On to the movie, most of the movie is true to the book with a few minor annoyances that have been changed or omitted. In the book Blomkvist smokes, in the movies he doesn't. In the book after the scene where she saves his life he couldn't even think straight and was in shock, the movie doesn't really show this.

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