Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Män som hatar kvinnor)

Title: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Män som hater kvinnor)
Directed by: Niels Arden Oplev
Starring: Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace, Sven-Bertil Taube, Peter Haber, Marika Lagercrantz, Peter Andersson
Genres: Foreign, Thriller, Drama, Adaptation
Running Time: 2 hours. 32 minutes
Release Date: March 19th, 2010 (United States) (Limited)
MPAA Rating: R

Review: I read Stieg Larssons books in Swedish last time I was in Europe, and it is a great story, very well suited for film adaptation. My Swedish friends and family have been raving about this film since it was released in Sweden, and I have been meaning to see it for quite some time. Since its US release was quite a while ago at this point, I thought I had lost my chance to see it on the big screen, but luckily one of the local independent theaters is still showing 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Män som hatar kvinnor)'.

'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Män som hatar kvinnor)' (the Swedish title literary means "men who hate women") is well made, brilliantly acted, dark, ultra violent, and produced with a distinctly Scandinavian style that is instantaneously recognizable. If you have seen any other Swedish murder mystery-type film (Wallander or Beck, for example), the naked, raw, unromanticized style will be familiar. If you haven't, I am sure you will notice it.

The first film in the trilogy is exceptionally violent, not in the Hollywood-esque blow stuff up way, but in a gritty, zoomed-in close, impossible to ignore way, and I found myself slightly shocked during parts of the film. With its 2.5 hours, the film is extremely long winded, but it is Noomi Rapace's amazing portrayal of the female lead which manages to make the film worth its length. I found myself wondering who will be able to carry this role in the Hollywood remake? What will Hollywood do to this story?

I would definitely recommend seeing the original, vs. waiting to just see the Hollywoodized version. Now, to see the rest of the trilogy.

Grade: 8

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