Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
Year: 2009
Director: Niels Arden Opley
Cast: Michel Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace, Sven-Bertil Taube

In My Own Words
I feel like this review is quite belated. I only saw the film tonight, but I have been meaning to see it since its opening day. I had been so excited about the film release of “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” because I am a big fan of the book. I have no idea why it took me so long to see the film.

I was so happy that I was going to see a film that was based on a Swedish book and was going to be in the Swedish language. I am not a fan of when films are based in a non-English speaking country, but the dialogue is in English. It detracts the credibility of the film for me. I’ve loved all the past Swedish films I have seen so that is another reason why I was happy the film would be in Swedish. However, it was strange for me when the film started. For how excited I had been to see the film in Swedish, I realized that because I had read the book in English, I had been seeing and hearing the characters speaking English dialogue and it was almost a shock to the system seeing these characters on the big screen, but with Swedish dialogue coming out of their mouths! But I soon got used to it and it became it exactly the way good foreign films become with me, I completely forget that I am watching a foreign film as the pictures and the subtitles seem to blend together.

I really enjoyed this film. They did change quite a few things from the book, but I understand why as they wouldn’t have worked on the big screen. I even found the film suspenseful even though I knew what was going to happen. I would love to hear from people who have and haven’t read the book as to what their thoughts were about the film. For those who have read the book, did you find the film suspenseful even though you knew what was going to happen? And to those who have not read the novel, did you pick the ending at all?

These are my own words and here is my review.


“The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” is a film that is captivating, suspenseful, beautiful, intriguing and disturbing. It is a film that proves that some films really can be just as good as the novel which it is adapted from and fans of the novel will definitely be pleased by it. It is one of the best mysteries to be released in the past few years. Although it is quite lengthy at 153 minutes, not a scene is considered unnecessary and every single scene plays a role in the unraveling of the story. “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” is the first film in the Millenium trilogy, of which the second film, “The Girl Who Played With Fire” will be released later this year. Mikhail Bloomkist ( Michael Nyqvist), a reporter in hot water, is asked by Henrik Vanger (Sven-Bertil Taube) to investigate the disappearance and assumed murder of his niece, Harriet. Bloomkist employs the help of Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) to help him in his investigation. Together, they unlock some shocking Vanger family secrets and put themselves in great danger.

Films adapted from popular novels will always do well in the box office, but these films are not always as exceptional quality as their inspirations. “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” is extremely well made and it does not seem anywhere near as long as what it actually is. It is thrilling and a must for anyone who enjoys to be kept guessing throughout a film. Many people will be put off by the fact that it is in Swedish which means that they will have to read subtitles for 2 ½ hours, but it is definitely worth it. Right from the beginning, the audience is intrigued and starts guessing as to what is coming next. Director Niels Arden Opley has done a fantastic job at bringing the story to life and making sure that the film holds its own. The Swedish scenery is breathtaking and the musical score is perfect. It accompanies the film in the best way and adds to the emotion and suspense of the film. However, do be prepared as the film is not for the faint hearted as there are some incredibly intense sexual violence scenes, as well as some violent images in general.

The focal point of the film is Lisbeth Salander, who is the girl with the dragon tattoo. Noomi Rapace is perfectly cast as Lisbeth and is an absolutely intriguing character. The way in which she has been created for the screen is as though, as much as the film shows of her, she is still an enigma. She holds so much mystery herself, as the film points out straight or gay? Is she the victim or the bad guy? Is she stHowever cold and mysterious she seems, she is also likable, despite some of the bizarre things she does. Rapace is able to remain stone-like as Lisbeth throughout the film, but is also able to show he anger, her and vulnerability at the right times. Michael Nyqvist does not have a hard role to play in the film, but nevertheless does it well. However, some of their co-stars ( it is impossible here to say the actors names and not give away the ending) under-act their parts and are disappointing. Luckily they have two string main actors who are able to overshadow and take the focus off them.

Even if you are not a fan of foreign films, “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” is a great film to watch if you like to be kept guessing. Its characters are memorable and the film itself is unforgettable.


  1. I can't wait to see this movie and am starting to actually hear mixed reviews about it. Geez, I can't remember the last time I had to wait so long to see something!

  2. So glad you liked it! I saw it and reviewed it about a week ago, and thought it was incredibly well-done. I really hope the sequels find a way to get to the U.S.