The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2010)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ out of 5

Directed by Niels Arden Oplov

Starring Michael Nyqvist as Mikael Blomkvist

Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander

Imdb Link

Mikael Blomkvist is a reporter for the magazine Millenium, who has come on some hard times lately with multiple lawsuits filed against him. Blomkvist is hired by Henrik Vanger, a successful businessman, to try and solve the mystery of a 40 year old murder trial.

Dark, stylish, and dripping with hatred, the Swedish version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is an absolute masterpiece. I saw David Fincher’s version a few years back, and read half the book when I was in the eighth grade (I had to stop when my parents found out about all the rape and sadism and stuff that was not suitable for a twelve year old), and I can safely say that, as much of a David Fincher fan as I am, the Swedes did it much better. I liked David Fincher’s stark, grim style better, but the way the mystery unravels in this one, and Noomi Rapace’s performance, as well as some of the changes from the book make this one the better version in my eyes. For one, I actually knew how the mystery would progress, and I knew every twist and turn, but I was still kept at the edge of my seat constantly none the less. The way they unfold the mystery in this film is done so perfectly that it can keep you guessing even when you know the twists and turns. They also keep really true to the book, other than a few small changes (which were better off missing from the adaptation, they worked in the book, but were boring and useless in Fincher’s mega-faithful adaptation). They could not have made a better choice dropping the Cecilia Vanger love plot, and focusing more on the relationship between Lisbeth and Mikael. Also, I love the fact that this film feels less like it focuses more on one of the two leads, and instead gives them both equal footing in the story. This version felt equally focused on Salander and Blomkvist, whereas Fincher’s version was all about Daniel Craig’s Blomkvist. Noomi Rapace does an excellent job playing Lisbeth Salander, a character that I would imagine is incredibly hard to portray. Noomi Rapace may not be the greatest actress when it comes to her English language films, but in this, when she’s at home with the Swedish, she absolutely kills it. Anyways, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is an excellent film, it’s dark, hateful, but it’s so well constructed and all together, one of the best mysteries out there.

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