Online Bonus Review! The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Online Bonus Review! The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is one of hundreds of films showing in Orlando at the Florida Film Festival from Apr. 9 through 18. More reviews are here and here.  Information on the festival is at

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
(Starring Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace, Peter Haber)
This Swedish film—based on the international bestselling book—could’ve easily toppled under its own weight.  The plot includes hiding Nazis, ritualistic religious murders, vicious rapes, corporate scandals, incest, and a host of other sick societal problems.  However, the filmmakers deftly focus on the violent sexual mystery at the core.
Nyqvst plays a famous journalist sentenced to three months in jail for libel against a large Swedish corporation.  Before he can serve his time though, a rich and reclusive capitalist (Haber) asks the writer to solve the disappearance on his beloved niece from the secluded family island 40 years earlier.

Dragon3_932305175.jpgIn a related storyline, the capitalist has also hired gothy Rapace, a brilliant hacker, to investigate the journalist. After years of abuse, Rapace—she of the dragon tattoo—has fixated on the moral and upstanding journalist until she too is drawn into his investigation of the missing girl.

There’s so much plot here, the characters could’ve been buried.  Instead, the story concentrates on Nyqvst and Rapace. They give nuanced and subtle performances that rein in the wild, almost unbelievable story.  The oddball violence is handled with care.  The dreary Swedish setting is actually fun to behold.

There’s a lot in this labyrinthine tale that is borrowed from Agatha Christie, Raymond Chandler, and Sue Grafton.  The film has an extended denouncement, lingering after its most dramatic climax.  Also, the sexual politic—the constant misogyny—is a little blunt.  Still, TGWTDT has enough to stay fascinating for its two and a half hours.


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