Written by Nikolaj Arcel and Rasmus Heisterberg
Directed by Niels Arden Oplev
Starring Michael Nyqvist and Noomi Rapace
Mikael Blomkvist: As we’ve been sharing files recently, I assume you’re up to date.
Expectations are tricky to avoid when you watch a movie from the last year that has already generated enough international buzz to warrant a fast tracked American remake before it even hits American screens. THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, from Swedish director, Niels Arden Oplev, is that movie and fortunately, it is worth all the hype that is surrounding it. From the moment it begins with the reception of an odd gift to an old man who weeps when he sees it, its focus is clear and deliberate – this will be a journey shrouded in mystery and deciphering that mystery for ourselves will require visiting some very dark places. Consider yourselves warned.
Two stories unfold to begin with. The first follows reputed, middle-aged journalist, Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist). He has just been found guilty of fabricating evidence to for a story that dragged a prominent businessman through some very dirty mud. He claims that he was set up but he still loses his job and his character. Unbeknownst to Mikael, he is also being investigated by a third party for entirely different reasons. A computer hacker hired out as a security company is following his movement closely. Her name is Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace). She is a young adult with a troubled past that she wears on her face in the form of piercings, studs and jet-black hair. Because of her gothic look, she is talked to, looked at and treated las though she is nothing. When Mikael starts investigating a 40-year-old murder, Lisbeth starts following his new case too. The real story starts when the two start working together instead of side by side in secret.
THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO is on some levels, a straightforward whodunit. A powerful family with obvious secrets makes up the list of suspects in the investigation and evidence points in different directions, moving names up and down that list accordingly. Only each discovery uncovers a fresh and unexpected level of evil behind this deep-rooted murderous conspiracy and each of these levels reveals poignant connections between religion and misogyny. Like the intricate tattoo in the title, this one will leave you scarred for life.