Monday, June 25, 2012

Movie Review - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

I rented this movie hearing that it was rather good.  IMDB - Post  What I had heard was correct, however I must say it truly deserves its R rating.  I'm pretty sure that I was expecting an action film, what I got was a physiological drama.

The premise of the film is not made clear until about half an hour into the movie.  We spend the first half hour building the characters back story and developing the motive of the main character for taking part in the film in the first place.

It is certainly a slow build but once it catches your attention it never lets go.  The movie's male lead Mikael (Michael) Blomkvist is a journalist who is convicted of liable and disgraced by the hands of the man he tried to bring down.

The female lead in this film is Lisbeth Salander.  She has some issues of her own that she is working through.  Abused and forgotten by the state she has been declared mentally unstable.  She might be a bit unstable be she is in full control of herself at all times.

After Mikael steps down as the head of the publication he works for, he is then approached by Henrik Vanger.  Henrik who was the head of a very large family corporation hires Mikael to solve the mysterious disappearance of one of his family members.  The case is 40 years old and he has to dig up the skeletons in the Vanger family closet to figure out what happened to Harriet all those years ago.

Of course there are those in the family who want to keep those skeletons quite well buried.  He faces many challenges along the way, including someone taking shots at him, quite literally.

The film is very dark, it has a grittiness that is only helped by the strangeness of its soundtrack.  Often you will hear very horror movie like sounds in the background.  Nothing as cheesy as chh chh chh, haa haa haa, but creepy and scary like an actual horror movie.  I have to admit though it was very well done.

The film really felt like two films smashed together.  We have the back story we start in the beginning, we move on to the Vanger family mystery where we actually introduce the two main characters to each other, then we come around to the back story again to clean it up to finish the story off quite nicely.

There were a few times that I felt a little out of the loop so to speak.  This was largely due to the fact that they never quite tell you why Mikael was trying to take down the company he attacked in the first place.

Overall I did like this film, it was dark and sadistic at times.  Lets just say that if you are offended by sexual acts then you might want to run screaming and flailing from this movie like it has a flaming case of herpes.  I will reiterate by saying that there are multiple acts of rape and holy crap she just did what, with that, to him, where?  Ewww, note to self never anger this woman, although in her defense he deserved it.  By the end of the film you do get some much needed justice for multiple people in the film.

If you love movies that make you think and challenge your mind then I would recommend this movie.  If your not afraid of the darker side then this is a really well made movie that you should enjoy.

The characters are very well written.  Their motivations are pretty clear based on their back story and actions.  This is actually the second film adaptation of this book and I hear that the previous made in Sweden didn't translate well to the US audience.  The author of the book series called the Millennium Series was actually of Swedish decent.  Published after his death the books quickly became an overnight success both in Europe and in the United States.

Seeing as how I did not watch the previous version of the film I cannot comment in depth.  However you will perhaps see a review for it on this blog in the future since I have access to that adaptation of the book.

I rate this film four out of five smiley Mike heads.

There was a little bit too much suspense and creepiness in this film for my liking.  I do love the strong female lead though.  It is a bit sad what she had to go though to become the tenacious person she is in this film.  Also as you know by now, I am a stickler for endings and this one is a bit of a downer.
As always comments are most welcomed, let me know if you've seen the movie, if you haven't seen the movie, want to see it after reading my review, or even if you have a pulse and want to tell me about it.  I have received zero feedback so far and would like to know what you think.  Thanks for reading, I hope I have amused and informed you.  Have a great day.

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