182: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (R) - 2009 - Runtime: 152 minutes
Starring: Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace
Director: Niels Arden Opley

I had decided to finally test the hype and put a request at my local library for the book The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I've heard nothing but great things and it took about a month before I actually got my hands on it. And once I had the time - I tore through the book in less than a week. It's so good - every bit of hype it has it well deserved. And it's no surprise they made a movie (albeit it is Swedish, duh, but an American remake is coming!) because the story lends itself so well to a film treatment. Well, that's both a blessing and a curse - the movie could never live up to the awesomeness of the book, but it's such a great story and the plot is perfect for a crime mystery movie. The movie is genuinely good, but there are some things lacking for those who've read the book.

The plot is somewhat complex, but the movie focuses mainly on the main mystery: Forty years ago, Harriet Vanger disappeared from a family gathering on the island owned and inhabited by the powerful Vanger clan. Her body was never found, yet her uncle is convinced it was murder and that the killer is a member of his own tightly knit but dysfunctional family. He employs disgraced financial journalist Mikael Blomkvist and the tattooed, ruthless computer hacker Lisbeth Salander to investigate. (the imdb plot was too perfect not to cut and paste!) Needless to say, the movie will have you on the edge of your seat if you haven't read the story. It's a long movie, but it's actually paced really nicely - there's enough suspense and drama to keep you going and the two main characters work well together. I found the actual actors to be really good - they play their parts to perfection, although I can understand people's complaint with Rapace, but that's due more to the complexity of the character itself than her acting. It's a thoroughly riveting film and it takes you along for the ride.

As for the flaws? Well, if you read the book, you'll know that there is a lot more going on than just the main murder mystery. There's all sorts of side plots that delve deeper into the characters and to be quite honest, these are just as good as the actual main mystery. And the movie barely touches on these aspects, but it's a movie. And that's my main complaint - this really should have been a miniseries, like on HBO. It would have been great to watch like a 6- or 8-hour treatment of the book - I would have really enjoyed it. Apparently, there is a Swedish television series about the books, but I can't find any information except for this imdb page.

Still, it's a great movie and worth watching! It's coming out this Tuesday, so check it out!

Rating: Rent It!

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