Movie Review: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

For the longest time I have been planning to buy Stieg Larsson's Millenium Series, but the scrooge that I am, I have never gotten around to buying the complete set. There are three books in the series (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire, The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest) and the first book has been adapted into a movie. I also have a copy of the movie in my netbook for quite a time now, but have just been putting off watching it after I have read the book. That's just the way I am. I would rather read the book first before watching the movie version. But since it seems that it would be quite some time before I chance upon a copy of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo to show up in Booksale (a used books store), I decided to watch the movie instead.
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2009) is a Swedish film the original title of which is translated as Men Who Hate Women and stars Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyqvist as Mikael Blomkvist, respectively. Salander and Blomkvist work together to solve the mystery concerning the disappearance of Harriet Vanger, a niece of a wealthy family. Harriet's disappearance has remained unsolved for forty years and as Lisbeth and Mikael walk through the evidence again, they uncover some dark family secrets that could cost them their lives.
Since its release in February 2009, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo has earned numerous nominations and awards in various international award-giving bodies for film and has become an instant blockbuster hit. The characters are all worthy of commendation especially Noomi Rapace who perfectly portrayed her role as Lisbeth Salander, an expert computer hacker with a dark past. I especially like Lisbeth's brooding character and the mystery of her past has added to the story's dark appeal.
For someone like me who loves a good suspense story, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo may be found to be a little wanting of satisfying plot twists and turns if compared with Shutter Island (which I loved too much). I find the premise a little predictable and not so surprising. In fact, while the plot slowly unfolded, I was reminded of some of Dennis Lehane's books like Sacred and John Sanford's Prey Series. However, for its portrayal of violence against women and incest and sexual abuse, the film is a useful springboard for intellectual discussion.
After watching this movie, I am all the more convinced that obtaining copies of Stieg Larsson's highly-acclaimed series would not be a waste of money. I am sure I would enjoy the story better if I read it from the book (yes, I am biased like that). Maybe I'll just wait until the bookstore goes on sale.
By the way, a Hollywood remake of the novel is set to be released in December 2011. Maybe by this time, I have already finished reading the book before I get to watch the movie.
Advisory: some nudity and sex scenes

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