Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Swedish Potboiler in Steamy "Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"

After having been set up and disgraced, journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) faces a 3 month jail term for libeling a businessman. But before he's set to serve his sentence, he has 6 months to solve the 40-year mystery of the disappearance (and believed death) of a 16 year old girl named Harriet Vanger. With no work in sight and oodles of money laid on the table, he accepts and travels to the island estate owned by a secretive rich clan where he will commence his investigations.

But along the way, he uncovers unsavory secrets involving members of the Vanger clan. With the help of a hacker Lisbeth (Noomi Rapace) - who's stuck with a despotic probationary officer (they refer to the program as "guardianship") and a troublesome past, Mikael is gradually turning over fragile threads to the lost narrative, placing his life - and Lisbeth's - in peril.

With brilliantly pieced stories that could have been 3 disparate, albeit separate stories, this Swedish suspense drama boils to feverish peaks and doesn't let up until puzzles have been pieced together. Performances are top notch, and cinematography captures the cliffhanger atmosphere running throughout the story. Settings for the fictional Hedestad were shot in Sodermanlands; the rest were in Stockholm; frames beautifully captured in moody, frozen, detached backdrop.

The story is adapted from a best selling trilogy of novels by Stieg Larsson who, at the time of his death in 2004, left 3 unpublished novels that would make up the "Millennium Trilogy". The first novel is "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo".

Larsson, as a 15 year old child, witnessed the gang rape of a young girl named Lispeth. He never forgave himself for failing to help the girl who inspired the theme of sexual violence against women in his books. In the UK, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo opened to critical acclaim in March 2010 and made more than £2 million at the box office. Sales of the DVD on its 19 July release have made it the highest selling foreign language title of the year in the UK. In 2010 David Fincher ("The Social Network") was set to direct a Hollywood adaptation, for release in December 2011.

Daniel Craig (of "James Bond" fame) is set to play Mikael, while Rooney Mara was tapped to play Lispeth Salander. Others in the cast: Robin Wright, Christopher Plummer, and Stellan Skarsgard.


RM said...

the novel is a complete waste of time; the movie is nothing but a sick lampoon.

Cathy P. said...

Hmmm harsh! I thought I was the harsh one. :->