Foreign Friday: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Hollywood remake of this surprise hit Swedish film is just around the corner.

So what is all the fuss about? Who is Noomi Rapace?

And why should we care about such a messed up character as Lisbeth Salander?

Michael Nyqvist plays Mikael Blomkvist, a researcher and journalist who gets embroiled in a scandal when he is sentenced to pay damages and serve a short prison term after he releases a damaging article against a powerful industrialist.

In need of money before his sentence is carried out, Blomkvist is asked by Henrik Vanger to find out what happened to his daughter Harriet almost forty years earlier. When computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) cracks one of the clues to the case. Blomkvist seeks out Lisbeth to help him solve the mystery.

The movie stumbles quite a bit at the beginning. Blomkvist’s circumstances and Lisabeth’s desperation and history is all disjointed at the beginning which makes the film hard to get into in the first 30 minutes or so. But if you can stick with it, stomach Lisbeth’s trying personal life, the movie turns into quite a fun murder mystery.

I liked how Blomkvist and Lisbeth’s relationship compliments each other. How it is tragic and you know it will never work yet they need each other. Like two ships crossing in the night.

Noomi’s performance is staggering as she envelopes all of Lisbeth’s messed up habits with such ease. She steals the movie and it is no wonder she has gotten so much world recognition for her work here.

There are a lot of shocking torturous and hard to watch scenes in this film. In places it feels like a kissing cousin to Silence of the Lambs but the torture and bleakness is way more heavy handed. But bleak stories is what Sweden is known for. All their breakout films echo the bleak but beautiful world that is Scandinavia. They are like Canadians without beer.

I look forward to taking you through the rest of the trilogy as we await the David Fincher version of this messed up franchise.

3.5 out of 5

So Says the Soothsayer

One thought on “Foreign Friday: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

  1. At the size of the original novel, it’s understandable that it had to be streamlined to make a movie. What I found ultimately disappointing is that the core of the story’s relationship between Michael and Lisbeth is tossed in because it has to be there, not because it was developed properly. Rapace’s performance as Lisbeth is stunning, though. The first novel is the best, but this adaptation didn’t give me anywhere near enough of what I wanted. But the films that don’t tend to butcher novels are few and far between. BTW, having seen the preview for the Hollywood version, I think that they’ve “vanillaed” Lisbeth down way too much visually. I can only fear for the novel’s story.

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