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Manchester film reviews

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Film

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Director – Niels Arden Oplev
Starring - Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyqvist

reviewed by Anne Ryan


Having very much enjoyed Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy, I was keen to catch the film, before the inevitable Hollywood remake (latest rumour is that it will be directed by David Fincher of Seven fame and star Kirsten (Twilight) Stewart!). This fulfilled all my expectations – although it was a little too long, two and a half hours of Swedish subtitles can be heavy going. Reminiscent of television's Wallander with its sombre depiction of the underbelly of Swedish society.


The story of the unravelling of the disappearance of the daughter of a wealthy dynasty thirty-seven years ago is intriguing and reflects on the Nazi collaboration in Sweden's past – any resemblance to Ingvar Kamprad and Ikea is I am sure coincidental. But the dominant theme is the relationship between a middle-aged investigative journalist - Mikael Blomqvist and Lisbeth Salander – a brilliant and damaged young computer hacker – who can solve any problem except the tragedy of her own life. In this role Noomi Rapace is a real star portraying the brittle, punk glamour of a young woman struggling to survive her past. For those who fell in love with Lisbeth in print Rapace does not disappoint.


In his Radio 5 review Mark Kermode did warn about a scene of sexual violence – it is indeed shocking, but in this case vital to show the horror of Lisbeth's life and the corruption of the authorities who control her life.


If you have a chance I urge you to see this before Hollywood gets hold of it – these characters are real people with physical and mental flaws striving to preserve their morality.


And for conspiracy theorists anonymous Swedish police sources say that Larsson's work is almost a documentary account of the flaws in his society.


The Manchester Salon discussion on Wed 14 July entitled Whodunit: what's the big deal with crime novels? will be discussing Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy. Stephen Bowler and Angelica Michelis will introduce the discussion, chaired by David Bowden. You can read Stephen's review of the 1st novel in the trilogy, by clicking on this The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo link, David Bowden's review of the 2nd novel by clicking on this The Girl who Played with Fire link, and Angelica Michelis's review of the 3rd novel by clicking on this The Girl who Kicked the Hornets' nest link

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