Release Date: March 19
Director: Niels Arden Oplev
Writers: Nikolaj Arcel and Rasmus Heisterberg (screenplay), Stieg Larsson (novel)
Cinematographer: Jens Fischer and Eric Kress
Starring: Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace, Lena Endre, Peter Haber
Studio/Run Time: Music Box Films, 152 mins.
Noir sees the light
This fittingly Swedish adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s posthumous Millenium Trilogy introduces us to Mikael Blomkvist, a disgraced journalist hired by a wealthy former industrialist to solve the murder of his great niece, a case that went cold 40 years ago.
Blomkvist is assisted by hacker/investigator Lisbeth Salander, whose history of abuse adds weight to what turns out to be more than an isolated murder.
Director Niels Oplev draws from the noir tradition, but only to rip apart conventions in a movie less about investigation than about exposing the widespread misogyny and racism corrupting Swedish society. Unfortunately, this goal is undermined by the onscreen portrayals of extreme violence against women, though movie’s explicit nature is in some respects an attempt at honesty. Although The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo doesn’t overcome all of its genre’s clichés (particularly in the unnecessary romance between its leads) it still shakes off most of the cobwebs that have for years been creeping into detective films.