Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009)

Rating: 95%
Well a little before The Dark Knight Rises hit the theaters, one my best friends suggested that I come over to his place for his to show me the whole extended edition of the Sweden trilogy of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. And conveniently, by dad got the American version of the movie so I could compare both version of the first book. So here's my thoughts of the Sweden version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. 

Plot: Mikael Blomkvist is a journalist who is gets attacked publicly after following a lead to a man he's trying to take down that turn out to be an ambush against him that leaves him and the magazine he works for disgraced. But then he gets offered by Henrik Vanger, who's a retired CEO of his family's business to write about his family's history and to try to crack the case about his great-niece's disappearance 40 years ago. At the same time, the story is about Lisbeth Salander, a researcher and computer hacker whose legal guardian has recently had a stroke and has gained a new one who unlike the last one, gets control of her finances and gives her monthly allowances in exchange for sexual favors.

Better then the American version? Entirely. It takes it's time of roughly three hours of film very well and being much more descriptive then the American. What really helps was that this was done in subtitles which, considering my family and I prefer that anyway because we find it a good tool to make sure we understand everything and know all the names and stuff when watching a new film, made all the difference. And even then, this movie was done SO much better visually. I mean we gets these extremely well done close ups of files, pictures, stuff that either Mikael or Lisbeth are doing on their laptops, that made things super clear on what's happening whether Lisbeth was hacking or Mikael was looking at certain people in his tree of suspects or whatever that's called. The American one may have won best editing and was at least nominated for best cinematography, but when it comes to giving us very clear, descriptive, and meaningful visuals to help with the story, the Sweden version is highly superior. I also really like that this version also gives us a side story over what was happening at the Millennium over the whole Wennerström deal unlike the American version which I liked.  Now what really makes me want to read the book is that there's a lot of things that are done in completely different ways. Some clues are told differently, there's one character who's nice in one version but is trying to blow Mikael's brains out in another, all around, I'll definitely have to read the book and watch both version again to know which movie is more loyal to it then the other. 

Michael Nyqvist/ Mikael Blomkvist: Now I definitely would like to read the book to know how to really view Mikael as a character. Because honestly, I think he was roughly the same thing as he was played by Daniel Craigg. He has a sort of quiet tone but still very persistent attitude when it comes to solving the mystery. So better or worse then Daniel Craigg? I really do not know. Really until I've read the book, I don't really know for sure how to take Mikael as a character for sure. 
Noomi Rapace/Lisbeth Salander: Now when it comes to being an ultimate psycho, I have to admit that Rooney Mara displays it the best. But with Rapace, I kind of see Lisbeth to be more...human I think would be the right way to put it. She has her psycho side of her and all, but it's not as super descriptive as Mara does. Rapace make her Lisbeth a little more of a real human being who just has a lot of darkness in her past which made her a much more enjoyable to watch.

Music: Very nice. Plain and smooth most of the time, but it kicked in pretty well whenever there was suspense.

Editing: While they didn't win Best Editing like the American one did, the editing here was just better in terms of telling the story because it had much better visual shots and they used it very well.    

And that's my review for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The American one my have a slightly more psycho Lisbeth and an opening credit sequence that kick MAJOR rear, but this one tells the story so much better visually that no matter which one I'll find to be more loyal to the book, I'll still find this one the best as a movie.


  1. Great review HAK. I liked this version also, but I found my self preferring the American version, mostly due to that I didn't really like the performance done by the Swedish actor who played Blomkvist

    1. Thank you very much Rodders. and Yeah hopefully after reading the book I'll have a more offical opinion about both Blomkvist performances.

  2. I agree the Swedish film was the better film.

    I awarded you an award thing, check out for more info.