FILM REVIEW: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Director: Niels Arden Opley
Release Date:  12.03.2010

I’m always apprehensive about seeing an adaptation of a book that I really liked. The film is just never the book. For example, the Bourne films which have nothing in common with the books except the names Jason Bourne and David Webb. Contrary to the above example, this film is one of the most faithful adaptations I have seen. As the film progresses it is like turning the pages of the book on screen, although this does make for a long and slightly self indulgent film.Mikael Blomkvist, after being convicted of Libel, accepts a commission to locate the niece of Henrik Vanger and acquires an unlikely assistant, Lisbeth Salander, along his journey.

“The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” masquerades as a detective story but in reality is a comment on the nature and politics of journalism, an examination of different women; how they experience violence and abuse and how as a consequence they respond to it.

The performances are compelling. Noomi Rapace finds the vulnerability of Lisbeth Salander as well as the sociopath tendencies. For a character who says little, she’s the one you want to watch on screen. Michael Nyqist holds his own as the charismatic protagonist who knows that he is morally right but resigned to his fate.

Ironically the violence in the book is faithfully adhered to but Mikael Blomkvist sleeps with a lot less women in the film than in the book, evidence of some trimming. If you liked the book, see this film. Don’t wait for the Hollywood version to be made!

Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Rachel Jacobs

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