Monday, 15 March 2010

Sex, Lies & Girls with Dragon Tattoos

This week I saw the film "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" (Man Som Hatar Kvinnor) at The Duke of York's Picturehouse in Brighton. I'd heard little about the film and didn't even realise that it's based on the first part of a trilogy of books written by Stieg Larsson, the other two being "The Girl Who Played With Fire" and "The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest". The trilogy is known as "The Millenium Series" and was published posthumously after Larsson died of a sudden heart attack in 2004.

The girl in the title roles is Lisbeth Salander, played by Noomi Rapace, a feisty young punk-goth computer hacker with piercings in her nose and a fierce look of defiant disinterest in her eyes. The main thread of the story involves Lisbeth's unlikely pairing with a disgraced financial journalist (who works for the publication 'Millenium', hence the trilogy title), Mikael Blomkvist, played by Michael Nyqvist, as they try to solve the 40-year mystery of the disappearance of a member of the powerful Vanger family.

The film is dark, violent and deeply engaging. The acting is fantastic and, as we learn more and more about the lives of the lead characters, we're pulled deeper into their stories and their sufferings. Although some parts were perhaps a little predictable, others were downright shocking and this is certainly not a film for the faint hearted. I found much of the film visually stunning and was gripped to my seat for the duration.

It seems to be one of those films so full of subplots that it feels like several stories in one. Just as you get to the end of one subplot you realise there's another loose end to tie up... and another... and another... which makes the ending drag on a bit. But nothing like the never-ending climaxes of Casino Royale! And in many ways it reminded me of Dexter. But that's all I'm saying on that matter. You'll have to watch it to see if you agree.

I would highly recommend this film and can't wait for the next part of the trilogy.

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