The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a psychological thriller of the first order, and has at its core a mystery tale that will grip you from start to finish despite its generous length. But what elevates it beyond any generic confines lies in its compelling character study. A relentlessly dark and brooding film, the movie, based on the immensely popular novel of the same name, is about Mikael Blomkvist, a disgraced middle-aged investigative journalist, and Lisbeth Salander, an enigmatic computer hacker with a brilliant mind and a sordid past, getting together to try and solve a very cold case and unravel the mysterious disappearance of the niece of a wealthy patriarch forty years back; in the process they end up opening a can of ugly worms and solving the deadly trail of abused bodies left by a psychotic serial killer. Scandinavia here doesn’t just have cold weather but is also infested by perverse misogynists, and the grotesque sides of human nature have been ripped apart from seemingly amicable veneers by the director. Michael Nyqvist, as the obsessed journo, has brought in a sense of calm and humanity in this disturbing film otherwise largely dominated by the terrific performance of Noomi Rapace as the tattooed, pierced, heavily promiscuous and emotionally scarred Lisbeth. The movie is certainly not for the chicken-hearted as it boasts of grim subplots, bleak nihilism and denouements, and intense violence – both physical and emotional, apart from a dense, labyrinthine plot and observations that revel in capturing the minutest details of the investigative process.
Director: Niels Arden Oplev Genre: Thriller/Psychological Thriller/Mystery Language: Swedish Country: Sweden