Friday, 23 April 2010
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo / Män som hatar kvinnor
Dir: Niels Arden Oplev (To verdener / Worlds Apart, Drømmen / We Shall Overcome)
Cast: Noomi Rapace, Michael Nyqvist, Sven-Bertil Taube
Seen: April 17, 2010
Reason to see: Trailer looked astonishing + the film trilogy has had huge success already
Going in to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo / Män som hatar kvinnor, I knew it would be a harsh film just from reading reviews about people mentioning harsh content when they never do. Then I noted the literal translation of the title is Men Who Hate Women. That gives you more of a true sense of the film, but even so I didn't think it would be as harsh as it is. The hardest thing about it though, is the fact that the film is also brilliant. Often when things are very disturbing, they can also be easily dismissed as bad movies but this isn't, it's an excellent by each and every measure I can think of.
The film threads together a mystery story line that intersects with parallel journeys of two protagonists. The English title role is Lisabeth Sander, a hacker/rogue researcher played in a tour de force performance by Noomi Rapace. We're talking Oscar worthy performance here, not only in execution but also in terms of dealing with extreme situations. Our second protagonist is the fallen from grace investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist, played sensitively by Michael Nyqvist. Both of these characters are compelling and very human, and each is played very well and the actors reach amazing depths. The film has many depths, not only in character but also in story. The mystery is weaved throughout lengthy 2 1/2 hour running time at a remarkable brilliant pace, I hardly looked at the time at all while watching up just stared and stared at the screen letting the film unfold like a disturbingly beautiful flower.
The challenge with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is that it's a hard film to recommend. It's so harsh that I'm not sure I even want to be responsible for someone ending up seeing it, even though it's an excellent film, likely one of the best of the year. I don't regret seeing it, but if you are going to take the venture I'd advise to keep in mind that it have a central theme of victims & victimization along with a lot of deal breakers: extreme violence, sexual violence, torture, disturbing imagery, content & ideas. These are all contextual and never excessive or gratuitous, but are disturbing nonetheless.
The film is adaptation of the first in a book trilogy (followed by The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest) all by the late Stieg Larsson. All three films in the trilogy have been made, and English film re-make for the first in the trilogy is set for 2012. I imagine the English remake will be severely toned down.
See also: Stieg Larsson's Dragon Tattoo Trilogy (DVD Review)
Warning: Extreme violence, sexual violence, torture, disturbing imagery & ideas
Shannon's Overall View:
I appreciated it as an excellent film
It'd be a challenge to re-watch
I'd recommend it to anyone who can make it through the film after considering the warnings
6 minutes of preshow including 7 commercials and 1 preview: The Trotsky
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© Shannon Ridler, 2010
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