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Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Niels Arden Oplev (Director). Momentum Pictures 2010

A gripping and superbly acted thriller that has a light varnish of social and political advocacy over a brutally enjoyable plot. Disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist(Michael Nyqvist) is asked to investigate the decades old disappearance of the member of a powerful industrial dynasty. He encounters Lisbeth Salander(Noomi Rapace) a semi-socialised hacker and they continue the investigation together. The story develops nicely with horrific secrets and crimes being uncovered. The action is superbly staged, the reveals are cleverly done and the plot resolved neatly.
This film is saturated with sexual violence, there are three explicit rape scenes which are far more concerned with force and power than sex, the plot is explicitly concerned with sexual violence. It does lack the subtle victimisation of the female cast that so often accompanies such violence, the female cast are notably independent and capable.
This really is two stories loosely tied together, there is the investigation of the disappearance and the murderous secrets that lie behind it. This is a grimly efficient thriller that makes the most of a not terribly original plot with superb acting, terrific pacing and brilliantly engineered tension. The second story is that of Lisbeth Salander, Noomi Rapace is astonishing as the she shows the carefully guarded venerability and steely strength of the character. The most significant gap in the film is the link between both stories, it is explicitly raised and then ignored in the film.
What the film lacks in cohesion it more than makes up for in engaging drama, vivid storytelling and a simmering rage at the abuse of power. Strongly recommended.

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