I know, fannish things belong on the fan blog but basically...it's my blog and I'll post what I want! :p
I'm thinking of moving movie and book reviews over here anyway, assuming that they're more than just me going: SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE and babbling about the shiny. ;)
First things first: I haven't read the books. I haven't seen the
Swedish films. I am coming to this only through the American version of
That being said, I will be reading the books and seeing the Swedish films as soon as the opportunity arises.
I loved this movie. Though saying that does not, perhaps, convey the depth of ALL THE FEELINGS that I have for it.
Okay, a basic overview of the movie:
Mikael Blomkvist (played by the ever delicious Daniel Craig) is
the editor of Millenium magazine. He's just lost a libel suit brought
against him by Wennerstrom, a wealthy businessman. In the process
Blomkvist has basically been wiped out. He's lost all his money,
everything. He resigns from the magazine in an attempt to distance
himself from it, hoping to spare his partner Erika (played by Robin
Wright, whom I also adore) and the magazine from being destroyed along
with him though everyone knows that Wennerstrom won't stop until he's
burned them to the ground and then salted the earth.
In the middle of all this he gets called up to a remote island by
Mr. Frode, the attorney for Henrik Vanger, another very wealthy man.
Vanger wants Blomkvist to solve the 40 year old murder of his
great-niece, Harriet. She disappeared one day and he is convinced that a
member of the family murdered her. Blomkvist is going to turn down the
job but Vanger promises him not only a lot of money, but some
information that will allow him to take Wennerstrom down for good.
Under the guise of writing Henrik's memoir, Blomkvist moves into a
small guest house on the island and starts to investigate. He gets
nowhere fast until his daughter drops by for a visit on her way to a
Bible camp and notices that the meaningless numbers in the back of
Harriet's notebook are references to Bible verses from Leviticus.
Blomkvist realizes that he needs a research assistant to help him
track down and figure out what these verses have to do with the women's
names beside them so he goes back to Mr. Frode to ask if he knows of
anyone. Frode recommends the firm that they had do the background check
on Blomkvist before they hired him. Which leads Blomkvist to Lisbeth
Salander - the titular girl with the dragon tattoo.
Lisbeth is different, to say the least.
Visual aides are best, so here's a pic of what she looks like in the movie:
And it's not just her fashion choices, of course. She's
antisocial, rarely faces anyone directly or looks them in the eyes. And
she's a genius. There's clearly been a lot of abuse at some point in her
life, and she's been marginalized because of the effects that the
trauma has had on her. She was declared legally incompetent as a very
young girl and the state has control of her finances. Lisbeth's guardian
clearly understands the truth of her situation and lets her control her
own finances but early on in the movie he has a stroke and is left
unable to fulfill his legal role to her.
A new guardian is assigned, and he takes a hard line with Lisbeth, giving her a monthly salary and nothing else.
Soon after that her laptop is broken and she has to ask for the
money to repair it. He gives it to her after forcing her to perform
fellatio on him.
A little later on she calls him, claiming to need money for rent
and meets him at his apartment. He beats her, knocks her out, ties her
to his bed and rapes her. What he doesn't know is that Lisbeth records
the whole thing. She calls him sometime later (a few days? the timeline
there isn't quite clear in the movie) and tells him she needs money for
Once he lets her into the apartment she tasers his ass. When he
wakes up she's got him tied to the floor of his bedroom and plays the
recording for him. She shoves what looks an awful lot like a cattle prod
to me up his ass and proceeds to kick the living shit out of him. Then
she explains how he is going to give her control of her money, he is
going to write glowing reports about her and how she is adapting to
'normal' society and he is going to start getting her declared competent
so that she will have true control over her life. And he is never, ever
to have another woman in private with him again. Ever. Or she'll kill
To make sure he won't forget the rules, especially the celibacy
one, she tattoos 'I AM A RAPIST PIG' in giant letters on his chest and
I have to admit, I love Lisbeth a lot. A lot a lot. Anyway...
Blomkvist convinces the security firm she works for to give him
her address, which does not go over well when he just sort of shows up
and politely barges his way into her apartment. He comes within a few
seconds of being tased himself. Then he draws her in: he wants her to
help him catch a killer of women.
They go back to the island and...well. Investigation happens,
secrets are uncovered and that's all I'm saying. I won't give away the
ending or the plot twists, though if you've read the book you know what
The mystery aspect of the story was decent. I had my
suspicions as to who the killer was, but I wasn't positive and most of
the time that's all I can ask of a mystery.
some (obviously) graphic violence and much of it is of a sexual nature.
But I don't feel as though it was done for the sake of glorifying the
violence or done in an over the top splatter-fest manner.
creepiest part for me was the killer playing Enya (Orinoco Flow) in the
background as he gets ready to murder someone, but that could just be
The title sequence reminded me a little too much of the Bond title sequences, but that's neither here nor there.
In conclusion: the movie is well worth the time and the money to go see it.
Also, ps: I totally ship Lisbeth and Blomkvist.