A box-office sensation in Europe, this Swedish film is a prime example of suspense thriller storytelling for mature audiences. Based on the worldwide best-selling novel of the same name by late author Stieg Larsson, the story focuses on a journalist named Mikael Blomkvist (played by Michael Nyqvist) and a beautiful yet street-tough goth hacker, the titular character, named Lisbeth Salander (played superbly by Noomi Rapace). The two characters team up to solve a cold-case mystery relating to a web of deception that runs deep inside a rich family fortune. There are elements of classic crime thriller that are expertly mixed with several thriller sub-genres including the political conspiracy and serial killer kind.
Although the novel does contain more in depth narrative exploration of Swedish corporate corruption the film very effectively keeps its many narrative threads streaming along with a brisk pace that holds the viewer’s interest over its steadily mounting two and a half hour running time.
Dual storylines converge over the first hour with our hero with the sinister body art nicely set-up as very capable and resourceful against all matter of “obstacles” before taking the case that Mikael has already started to break open. As we follow the dual plot lines of the journalist and the goth hacker girl we learn more and more about the unfolding mystery and its many players. I admit struggling a bit to keep up with all the characters and criss-crossing plot twists but that’s part of the fun of going to see a complicated and serious-minded film designed for adults (not adolescents drooling for the next mind-numbing 3D ride). The adult content is for real too with some potent doses of rough sex, rape, and serial killing scenarios upping the ante.
It is a complex web, to be sure, and its swift movement from scene to scene, plot points coming hard and fast, leave no room for idle musings. In other words- blink and you’ll miss it.
With expert direction by Niels Arden Oplev, cinematography, and a great cast of Swedish newcomers who disappear into their roles perfectly, GWTDT provides one of the best (and timely) mystery yarns of 2010. It’s one of the best foreign films of the new year by far.
To View the Trailer: http://dragontattoofilm.com/
To see more from Michael Okum, visit: http://evilmonito.com/author/mokum/