The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo [Man Som Hatar Kvinnor]

"Excellent"

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo [Man Som Hatar Kvinnor] Review


Even without reading the book, you get the sense that the filmmakers have been almost unnaturally faithful to the first in Stieg Larsson's trilogy of Millennium novels. It's over-long and almost pathologically detailed, but it's also an extremely effective and well-made thriller.

Mikael Blomkvist (Nyqvist) is a journalist who has just lost a libel case. He has six months before he has to report to prison, and the wealthy Henrik Vanger (Taube) hires him to look into an old family mystery involving the disappearance of a 16-year-old girl nearly four decades earlier. What Mikael doesn't know is that a shadowy young woman, Lisbeth (Rapace), is following his every move. But soon they start working together to unravel a scandal that gets creepier with each discovery.

The original title literally translates as "Men Who Hate Women", and indeed, this is a film about extreme cruelty against women, from Lisbeth's terrible past (glimpsed in flashback) to her hideous encounters with her parole officer (Andersson). Not to mention the horrifically violent murders the investigation uncovers, which are linked to both racism and religious fundamentalism but ultimately boil down to vicious machismo.

Oplev directs the film with a slick, sinister, meticulous style that pulls us in from the beginning. The suggestive camerawork constantly sends chills down our spines as it catches details in the settings and characters. But even more interesting is the sharply well-played interpersonal drama between Mikael and Lisbeth, which develops unexpectedly and turns into a dark romance about two broken people who find each other in the middle of a seriously terrifying situation.

Of course, there's also a strong sense of vengeance threading through this tale, as Lisbeth gets even with the men who have brutally abused her, all while prying open this increasingly ugly 40-year-old murder case. The result is a film that's spikey and scary and often surprisingly funny. And even at two and a half gloomy hours of relatively standard potboiling detective work, it's constantly thrilling to watch. And yes, she has a pretty cool dragon tattoo.



Facts and Figures

Genre: Thriller

Box Office Worldwide: $104.3M

Budget: $13M

Production compaines: Yellow Bird Films, Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF), Sveriges Television (SVT), Nordisk Film, Film i Väst

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director: Niels Arden Oplev

Producer: Soren Staermose

Starring: as Mikael Blomkvist, as Lisbeth Salander, as Erika Berger, as Henrik Vanger, as Nils Bjurman, Peter Haber as Martin Vanger, as Cecilia Vanger, Tomas Köhler as 'Plague', Gösta Bredefeldt as Harald Vanger, Björn Granath as Gustav Morell, Ewa Fröling as Harriet Vanger, Stefan Sauk as Hans-Erik Wennerström, as Isabella Vanger, Willie Andréason as Birger Vanger, Ingvar Hirdwall as Dirch Frode, Annika Hallin as Annika Giannini, Sofia Ledarp as Malin Erikson, as Janne Dahlman, Michalis Koutsogiannakis as Dragan Armanskij, Yasmine Garbi as Miriam 'Mimmi' Wu

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping Movie Review

An astute satire of the pop music business, this raucous mock-documentary is consistently hilarious from...

War Dogs Movie Review

War Dogs Movie Review

Based on a rather astounding true story, this comedy-drama centres on two stoners who landed...

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

After a number of films, TV series and stage adaptations, Arthur Ransome's beloved 1930 novel...

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

The original BBC sitcom The Office ran for 14 episodes from 2001 to 2003, and...

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

Bold and intelligent, this dark drama is a challenging portrait of the making of an...

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

This hugely enjoyable adventure is a loose remake of the 1977 Disney hit that blended...

Advertisement
The Shallows Movie Review

The Shallows Movie Review

With a simple premise and plenty of visual style, Spanish filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) takes...

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Watching this gross-out comedy, it's clear that the gifted cast and crew had a great...

Nerve Movie Review

Nerve Movie Review

With a premise that feels almost eerily current, this stylish thriller revolves around a phone...

The Carer Movie Review

The Carer Movie Review

Brian Cox gets the role of a lifetime in this warm comedy about living life...

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.