|Peter Andersson and Noomi Rapace in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo|
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has been given the big screen treatment by director Neils Arden Oplev, a Danish director in what is an otherwise entirely Swedish production. Faithfully adapted from the late Stieg Larsson’s internationally best selling Millennium Trilogy, it has had literary types waiting with bated breath for the film version of this much loved murder mystery/crime thriller.
The story sees Mikael Blomkist (Niqvist), a journalist in the middle of a law suit against a powerful financier, spending the six months before his impending sentence in the employ of the wealthy Henrick Vagner to investigate the murder of his great-niece. Unbeknownst to Blomkist, he is being closely watched by super-researcher and hacker Lisbeth Salander (Rapace), an antisocial goth with zero people skills and a history of abuse and mental health issues. Blomkist and Lisbeth join forces to embark upon an investigation that unveils a disturbing family history laced with Nazism, greed, murder and romance.
It seems that again we are faced with the dichotomy of the adaptation; will it live up to expectations? Sure enough this film has received a lot of media attention. It is making a much anticipated appearance at Cannes film festival in May and has even stretched beyond the screens of the independent cinemas to the dizzying heights of the multiplex.
Thankfully, this film delivers - due in most part to an excellent cast. Although Blomkist and Lisbeth do not meet until an hour into the film, by that time the characters are well established and extremely likeable. The audience is kept riveted with a smorgasbord of ‘who done it?’ and a fascinating set of biblical clues that lead the pair on a climatic discovery. With an entertaining mix of suspense, gore, and humour, the audience will undoubtedly be left anticipating the sequel, The Girl Who Played With Fire.
|Michael Nyqvist in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo|
For those that have read the book, in most part this is a faithful adaptation with slightly more emphasis on the character of Lisbeth but this decision is more than validated by her naturally gripping performance. Whilst the relationship between Blomkist and two of the female characters is hinted at, it is edited from the story entirely, but with the film already running at 153 mins, you can forgive this as a necessity. The Scandinavian setting is in tradition with the quirky and beautiful backdrop described by Larsson, and provides visually pleasing cinematography that compliments a familiar supporting cast.
Definitely one to watch and prediction is that the sequel will be one to look forward to. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a film that everybody will be talking about, if not about the brilliant cast and gripping story, then about ‘that scene’.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo will be playing at Broadway Cinema as part of the Nordic Noir season for ScreenLit Festival on Friday 23 April.