The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009) Review

Verdict: Dark

Great cinematography, acting and editing.


Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) a journalist is hired by Henrik Vanger (Sven-Bertil Taube) to investigate the disappearance of his niece 40 years ago. He suspects one of his family members to have murdered her, but there has never been any headway. Blomkvist enlists the help of Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) a brilliant hacker to find out what really happened to Harriet Vanger (Ewa Froling). Directed by Niels Arden Oplev.

Having read the books quite a few years ago, I don’t remember much of the details from there, but think this film greatly captures the essence of the book. It is of course, not an exact adaptation, however I did not feel that they missed much out that was crucial to the story. There are some discrepancies compared to the book though that I think are unnecessary changes. Just to note, this is the Swedish version that I watched, maybe I will watch the Hollywood one to see if it’s better though I don’t think it will be.

The cast for this did a good job and was a really good fit for the characters they were portraying, with the exception of one actress that I felt did not fit into the image of her character. Nyqvist does well as Blomkvist, a confident kind of gentle person with attention to detail who had a pretty good upbringing. In contrast Rapace as Salander has had a much darker life and she portrays this perfectly. Her stoic expressions and speech delivery depicts how she has that emotional barrier and makes sure not to get attached to anyone.

The story too is shrouded in darkness and reflects Salander’s life. There is quite a bit of gruesome and grotesque images in the film, but fortunately it is easy to tell when it will appear so I can be prepared and avert my eyes. There is also some thriller action and the music score does well to match the mood of the scenes.

This film also had great cinematography – especially with landscapes. Lots of beautiful shots and some great aerial perspectives.

To sum-up:
PROS: Acting, cinematography, editing, score
CONS: Discrepancies with book, one poor actress-character match

I give this a 8/10.

Have you seen The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo? Rate it out of 5 stars above or leave a comment below!


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