Monday, July 19, 2010

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

This past Saturday I rented the DVD of the Swedish film adaptation of Stieg Larsson's international bestseller The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. It is subtitled in English, but also features an English dub track. If you aren't concentrating on the words and lips, you can't tell, it is so seamless.

The thing I loved about it was the story, something sorely missing in today's films. Tattoo grabs you from the very beginning. It is a dark mystery about a computer hacker who helps a journalist solve the decades-old disappearance of a young Swedish heiress.

*Note to parents: This film is rated R for disturbing violent content including rape, grisly images, sexual material, nudity and language.*

Below are a few snippets from several reviews by US-based critics:

"Swedish director Niels Arden Oplev faithfully and intelligently transfers the first volume of Stieg Larsson’s hugely popular detective trilogy to the screen. … [T]he key to the film’s effectiveness is the casting of Rapace, who, while not mapping quite exactly to the book’s physical descriptions, is riveting." Andy Klein in The Christian Science Monitor.

"The Lisbeth you know from the books … has already been found. Her name is Noomi Rapace and she owns the part. If I were Portman, Knightley or Stewart, I’d be shaking in my boots. Actually, this Lisbeth could scare Jason Bourne." Mary Pols in Time.

"According to recent industry news, David Fincher is already considering directing a remake of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo … But it’s hard to say what the director of Seven and Zodiac could bring to a film that’s already as dark, moody, and vice-focused as Seven, and as intricately procedural as Zodiac. Niels Arden Oplev’s Dragon adaptation is already a poisonous gem, in large part thanks to fearless performances and an unwaveringly graphic sensibility that doesn’t flinch at the most horrific parts of Larsson’s story." Tasha Robinson in The A.V. Club.

"The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is a potboiler but entertaining enough to rise above its flaws, which include a 152-minute run time. Those who stick it out will see an especially dark murder mystery that presents Swedish society as corrupt and profoundly antagonistic to women." Walter Addiego in the San Francisco Chronicle.

" It’s the rare 2 1/2 -hour film that doesn’t make you look at your watch once. "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" is such a film. It isn’t so much the pacing. … Rather, like a good book, the plot is so engrossing, the characters so rich and complex, the mood of gloom mixed with glimmers of hope so all-encompassing that the thought of its actually ending never occurs to you." Michael O’Sullivan in the Washington Post.


1 comment:

peacegirl said...