Monday, September 14, 2009

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Män som hatar kvinnor)

The Millennium Trilogy is a series of three bestselling novels written by the late Swedish writer Stieg Larsson and it’s named after the magazine where the character Mikael Blomqvist works. The novels in the series are The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest.

The trilogy has been made into three films (Danish production) and "Män som hatar kvinnor" is the first. The second "Flickan som lekte med elden" [The Girl Who Played with Fire] is being released soon, and the third is supposed to also be out before the end of the year.

The correct translation for the title is “Man Who Hate Women” and who knows why it was changed since it was perfect.

Mikael Blomqvist is a journalist with an unusual assignment. He is contacted by the industrial leader Henrik Vanger, who wants him to find out what happened to his 16-year old niece Harriet Vanger, disappeared without a trace on September 29th 1966. Henrik is convinced she was murdered and needs some closure. Mikael has recently been indicted and convicted on counts of slander and also knew Harriet, so he accepts the job. He gets help from the enigmatic computer hacker Lisbeth Salander. They start to investigate the past of the Vanger family and find a troubling story.

Danish director Niels Arden Oplev only directed this movie, the other two are directed by Swedish director Daniel Alfredson and honestly I’m curious to see what changes with the new director, since I was not too convinced by Oplev’s work.

The acting is quite good and Noomi Rapace (Lisbeth) caught my attention to the point I’m looking for another movie she was in – Daisy Diamond - and that got her an acting award. Michael Nyqvist as Blomqvist also does a good job. Peter Andersson plays a small role on the movie, but it’s a very important one and he is amazing doing it.

I did find the plot a bit predictable and there is also something that happens halfway through the movie between Lisbeth and Mikael that I found totally out of character and particularly weird under the circumstances, but I haven’t read the book so I don’t know if it’s part of the book or just a stupid idea they had for the movie.

Apart from that I handled quite well the almost two-and-a-half hour long movie, and that says a lot to me. If a movie is that long, either it is good or it’s torture. The plot was absorbing and kept me interested. Lisbeth Salander is a very interesting character, though I felt there was a lot more about her than what is revealed. I think that probably to explain more about her, (or Michael, for that matter) would have forced the movie to be even longer and if that is the case, I’m glad they didn’t do it. The book is apparently around 500 pages long and most likely it would not have been easy to squeeze in more information. It’s just that for what I’ve read, there are some aspects of Lisbeth’s personality that you don’t get at all from this movie and that might be relevant to know about, if you really want to understand her. So I’m thinking that we will have more information in the next movie, and after watching all of them I might have to revisit this review. Now, the fact I want to watch the other two is revealing…

Green light!

Watch trailer @ Movie On Companion

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