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.
Posted by Joyce Kulhawik at 9:55 PM