Director: Niels Arden Oplev
Running time: 178 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 18
UK Release date: 12th March 2010
Watched on DVD Tuesday 18th October 2011.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
Based of the first novel of the ‘Millennium Trilogy’ by Stieg Larsson, this Swedish film adaptation is (IMO) quite excellent. I should make it clear that I watched the extended edition which runs for just short of three hours. Also, being a bit of a purist, I watched it with subtitles, although there is the option of a dubbed version for those not quite so brave. I was quite surprised just how enthralling it was and, having never read the novels, just what a well written drama it turned out to be. More of my thoughts after this very brief summary.
Mikael Blomkvist is the editor of a magazine, ‘Millennium’, that has accused businessman Hans-Erik Wennerström of some wrongdoing. The case went to court and Blomkvist lost. He has just three months before he has to go to jail for six months. Unbeknownst to him, he has been investigated himself by a professional hacker, Lisbeth Salander, who works for a security firm. The reason becomes clear when Blomkvist is hired by wealthy businessman, Henrik Vanger, to investigate the disappearance of his niece more than forty years ago. Moving out to the remote island where the Vanger family all live, in separate houses, Blomkvist is soon embroiled in the case. Little does he know though, but Lisbeth Salander is still keeping tabs on him and when she sends him the answer to a vital clue the unlikely pair end up joining forces in order to solve the case. There is an awful lot more to tell but I dare not say it or the Spoiler Police might find a way to make me disappear.
A very well made film with an almost washed-out look to the visuals which always makes me think of northern climes. I also thought the music by Jacob Groth was excellent and fitting the, at times, haunting piece very well. As for performances, well, both Michael Nyqvist as Mikael Blomkvist and Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander were outstanding… particularly Noomi Rapace. Also worthy of note were; Lena Endre as Erika Berger, Sven-Bertil Taube as Henrik Vanger, Peter Haber as Martin Vanger, Peter Andersson as Nils Bjurman, Marika Lagercrantz as Cecilia Vanger, Ingvar Hirdwall as Dirch Frode and Björn Granath as Gustav Morell.
On the DVD the film is split into two parts, each of about ninety minutes. This, I found, made it feel a little bit like a TV adaptation rather than a cinema release. Don’t get me wrong, all the production values of a big cinema release are there, but I did, at times, feel like I was watching a major two-parter on HBO (or Sky Atlantic for us Brits), albeit in Swedish. Despite this, I still very much enjoyed this mystery thriller and I’m very much looking forward to seeing the other two parts of the set. Maybe I’ll have to watch a couple of things in English in between… too much Swedish at once can really get taxing. Over all though, totally engrossing with some truly excellent performances… Highly recommended.
My Score: 8.2/10
IMDb Score: 7.7/10 (based on 48,699 votes at the time of going to press).
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86/100 (based on 165 reviews counted at the time of going to press).
Dirch Frode: What can you tell me about Blomkvist?
Lisbeth Salander: Everything is in the report.
Dirch Frode: The short version.
Lisbeth Salander: Blomkvist got the name Kalle Blomkvist when he solved a bank robbery in the 80s. He's a very public person with no major secrets. Read the newspaper articles.
Dirch Frode: But does he have any secrets?
Lisbeth Salander: Everyone has secrets.
Mikael Blomkvist: What has happened to you? How did you turn out this way? You know everything about me. I don't know shit about you. Not a damn thing.
Lisbeth Salander: That's the way it is.
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