Sunday, March 28, 2010


It's a trashy page turner that lingers too long on the sexual torture of women, a Miss Marple-like list of suspects, and an ending that's on the visible horizon from page one. I was among the few who disliked the late Stieg Larsson's international bestselling thriller. Then I saw the movie. In Swedish.

The film bests the book by minimizing the sadism, streamlining the action, and maximizing the characterizations, especially that of Lisbeth Salander. She's a tiny, tightly wound, nose-ringed techno geek with a dark past, who helps investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) solve a 40 year old disappearance on a bleak Swedish Island. Noomi Rapace won't be easily replaced by an American actress when this movie is inevitably re-made. (Kristen Stewart? Natalie Portman? Ellen Page?) I say Noomi should learn English.

The film isn't flawless-- a few scenes are awkwardly imagined, and like the book conclusions are either too quickly or too slowly arrived at. But the film is clearly plotted, briskly paced (even at 2 1/2 hours), and dramatically addictive.

The GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO is the first of a trilogy; all three films have been made in Swedish. The next two THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE and THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNETS' NEST will be released in the U.S. by Music Box Films this summer. Or go to Stockholm and watch them on DVD.


  1. I thought the film was terrific. The 2 1/2 hours zipped by for me. The pacing was brisk most of the time, they treated the most disturbing scenes as tastefully as they could, and the lead actors were pitch perfect.

    Noomi Rapace does speak decent English. I've seen several interviews with her, but she says she is done with portraying Lisbeth. It took her 7 months to train and diet to prepare to play the part for all 3 films in the trilogy. Can't wait to see the next one.

    Roger Lyons

  2. Hey Roger--I hope Noomi changes her mind--I can't imagine anyone else in the part! 7 months of training and dieting is nothing to prepare for THREE films(she says who can't even commit to walking everyday!)
    Thanks for the comment!