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The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, A Review by InkyBlueMind
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, A Review by InkyBlueMind
This is one of the most impressive movies I have seen in a while, it took five minutes for it to speed up and now I have another book to add to my reading list.
It starts with an immediate look at a disgraced Swedish financial journalist, Mikael Blomkvist, better known as Mika, played by the awesome Daniel Craig, after he has published an article on a powerful public figure, Hans Erik Wennerstrom, after trusting an, what we're led to believe at that time, a unreliable source.
We almost instantly see that he is having an affair with his married co-worker, co-editor of the magazine that he works for, Erika Berger, played by the lovely Robin Wright. Who looks amazing, just to add as a completely off topic side note.
It moves on quickly from that to a party that Mika and Erika are at with Mika's ex wife, Annika played by Embeth Davidtz, if you don't know who she is but recognize her this is because its the lovely Embeth who played Miss Honey in the movie adaptation of Matilda by Roald Dahl and more recently, Rebecca Pryce in hit TV series, Mad Men.
We also meet Mika's daughter, Pernilla, played by Josefin Asplund, who only has two other acting credits to her name but did a remarkably good performance of a disinterested teenager that misses her father.
Anyway, moving on, Mika gets a phone call from an attorney, Dirch Frode played by well known actor, Steven Berkoff, who works for a well established, rich man, who wants Mika's help with a solving a family mystery.
This is where we meet Lisbeth Salander, played by Rooney Mara, who I just realized played the main actress in Side Effects, which is on the to review list, almost instantly after this, who was hired because she is an incredible researcher but she does it by illegal means, at first you follow her and you see she has a whole bunch of unread emails offering her jobs. It left me questioning at first what she did and what assignment was she doing after she agreed to meet with the people that hired her to research into Mika's life, this person was Dirch Frode, who is the attorney that called Mika to hire him.
Disgraced Daniel Craig and lovely co-editor, Robin Wright.
Oh wow, Christopher Plummer!
My first thoughts are after Mika heads out to meet the client that Dirch wants him to work for, that the house we see on the drive up is awesome and I want it, except the snow, we should put it somewhere that doesn't snow and also have a cleaner because I ain't cleaning that entire thing.
Anyway, back on topic, I can't help but notice how beautiful and well filmed this section is as we drive up to the very large house. Here, look, I'm sure you'll agree with me.
Does the house come with the cleaner?
Where was I, oh right, Christopher Plummer!
So moving on, as we discover who hired Mika, is a man called Henrik Vander, who is getting on a bit in age and is still obsessed by the case of his missing niece who he knows is dead but they never found the body. She just disappeared one day during a family gathering where she didn't show up to dinner one night.
Who is Harriet?
Henrik wants Mika to look into Harriet's death, he desperately wants to know what happened and he himself has come to a standstill, he knows someone has killed her yet he continues to get flower portraits for his birthday every year, hand drawn, the only people that knew about this were the police, Henrik, Harriet who is dead and the killer, who he suspects is drawing the artwork.
He promises that he can get dirt on Wennerstrom, the guy that has ruined Mika's life because he ran a story on him, this is where we find out the story that Mika published is true he just couldn't produce evidence to stand by his claims and Henrik promises to help him get proof as well has paying him a lot of money, this point Mika questions the concept of not finding anything new, to which Henrik still promises to pay him with the information as well as money. It's a win win situation for Mika really, so he agrees.
Henrik then goes on to tell him of the day that Harriet disappears, giving him all the paperwork and information he has and offering him the cottage on the property to live in - this is where I decide that Henrik's mansion is far too large for me and I love the cottage that he lets Mika stay in. Also comes complete with a tabby cat and no cell signal at all.
My thoughts pop in here that the possibility of Harriet still being alive but Henrik is absolutely convinced that she isn't.
One of these things is not like the other
They go on to talk the next day, Henrik visiting Mika at the cottage and they go for a walk where we find out there is a whole complicated family history, not to mention two Nazi's in the family, which doesn't go down well at all.
When Henrik points out everyone has a home on the island, a lot of family members, a lot of them not talking to one another and Mika jokes (though I think he is partially serious) that he will need Henrik's help in keeping track of everyone.
Mika still has everyone down as suspects, the next person he goes to is Cecilia, Henrik's niece, whose father, Harald was a nazi soldier, which we touch on briefly that she doesn't talk to him as she has never forgiven him for it, but this is where she also reveals that Harriet was very smart and the family didn't know what to do with that and she had a lot of secrets from the family, but she didn't know any of them.
We then follow Mika to see the policeman, Detective Inspector Gustaf Morell, that investigated the case at the time of Harriet's disappearance, he talks about the soul of a policeman essentially being derived and defined by the one case that they didn't solve, that this was his Rebecca case.
They discuss the journal that was left in the box information that Mika received from Henrik, in the back of it is a list of names and numbers, Gustaf says that they are local numbers and some research but none of them claim to know who Harriet was.
Names and numbers in Harriet's journal
So we start to see more of Lisbeth's life from here, we learn that she was a foster kid or at least a ward of the state which is what I took it to mean, she is twenty three and has a lot of money but is not allowed access to it.
She has to go through a social worker, Nils Bjurman, played by Yorick van Wageningen, to get access to any of it and to ask for a new laptop when someone tries to mug her on the subway, which she follows beats the crap out of him and races on to the next train, in the process her wonderfully beautiful mac laptop is broken, anyway that doesn't happen to later on.
We see he talks of locking her up in an institution because she isn't social, asks her supposed health questions, to which he then suggests she starts her socialization with him and forces her to give him a blow job to get access to her own money. My notes at this point are quite colourful, along the lines of effing perve and she should bite it off.
But I have to give Yorick some due here, he is very good at making me hate him.
She goes home after this and we finally get to see the awesome dragon tattoo on her shoulder. I'm still unsure as to why this is called The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo when its really not entirely about her and also only see it a few times, its never explained and when I looked it up, the name of the book was changed, in Swedish the title is: Män som hatar kvinnor (translated to English literally means Men Who Hate Women) and the title was changed as a marketing strategy to follow the theme of the second book which is still in Swedish as well as English called The Girl Who Played With Fire.
Meanwhile, Mika has gone to have dinner with the current CEO of the Vander Industries company which is Martin Vander, he is very friendly but is late to dinner, he gives an excuse of running late at the office or something along those lines and as he gets in, the whole house you notice at this point is made of pretty much all double glazing, reminding me of The Cullen's house in Twilight but nowhere near as cool, to which he points out somebody left a door open because the wind howls through the house, I personally think that sounded way more like a scream at this point but probably just me.
Anyway, Martin's fiance brings up Harriet, up until this point the family think he is writing a memoir for Henrik and not investigating Harriet's disappearance, but Martin's fiance thinks its pivotal to include as its been so much a part of his crazy life up until this point.
The next day he goes to see Cecilia again, who I recognized instantly but couldn't place her, after looking at her IMDB page, the actress name is Geraldine James, who is a British actress that has been in a bunch of English shows and movies etc. this is probably why I recognize her as I recognize a lot of the titles of productions she has been in.
Anyway, moving on, she seems almost pissy about talking to Mika but comes around, she admits that her sister Anita was good friends with Harriet growing up, that they were pretty close, she admits here that her sister left at eighteen to move to London, which, she comments, that if Harriet had lived to that age she would have done the exact same thing. She says he is welcome to go find her if she will talk to him because they have not spoken in years, her exact words are, "She will probably tell you to fuck off."
So we finally see Mika as he has already travelled to London, I wanted to know how he tracked her down considering Cecilia had already stated she had no idea where her sister was, anyway moving on, Anita is played by the lovely Joely Richardson, who at first doesn't want to talk to Mika but gives in and does.
She tells him that Harriet was messed up, she had a crazy mother, a drunken father, she was strange, withdrawn, make up one minute then the next covered up in sweaters and reading the bible.
Back to Lisbeth
Lisbeth has to return to douchebag asshat mother effing social worker dude, Nils, to ask for money to pay for rent and get groceries and this is where it gets really effed up, this is the darkest part, far darker than the molestation scene previously so if you're triggered by rape scenes or have PTSD for any reason, do not watch this, its a pretty graphic rape scene, it even made me uncomfortable as to its nature but don't worry Lisbeth makes him regret it and cower like the filthy pig he is. This is why I hate this character so much and this is why I give HUGE kudos to Yorick because he made me hate Nils passionately which says everything about his acting capabilities.
Lisbeth is beyond bruised and battered to the point she can barely walk and he has the freaking nerve to try and help her, WTF.
She gets the ultimate revenge one could get beside killing the dude, she ties him up and tattoo's "I'm a rapist pig" on his chest and tells him to tell the state she is more than competent to access her own money, revealing she has a video tape of the rape due to the fact that she thought he was going to make her give him another blow job, that he was to make up the reports as to the visits to his office because there was no way she was going to come back in and if she caught him doing to another girl whether consensual or not, she was going to kill him. This is why I love Lisbeth, she comes back on top even after a crazy horrid ordeal and makes him regret it in the best possible way.
Had it coming!
I need help!
Mika finally reveals to Dirche Frode, the attorney, that he needs help and would require a research assistant because he has found information and is getting closer to something.
This is where he meets Lisbeth, who had gone out, got high on something and slept with a beautiful gorgeous chick, to which next day Mika shows up on her doorstep with breakfast declaring that she would help him if the story of Harriet interests her.
Help, I need somebody! Help, not just anybody!
And without giving the rest of the movie away, my best description of it overall is that its intense, dark, gritty, psychological thriller, that has the aspects that I can only describe as an brilliant orgasm, its fast and slow in all the right places and the acting is superb.
There is a huge twist that I didn't see coming at first, but figured out closer towards the end and I loved the cinematography in this, it matched the theme perfectly.
There is just so much more detail than I can delve into in one review, it would be like I am writing a companion piece of literature to go alongside the book and the movie if I were to write about every little aspect without giving the story away.
This is a must see for anyone that likes an amazing plot, with awesome acting and well developed characters and knitty gritty details down to the very last point.
I will let you know about the book!