Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

After several months in the theater, I was finally motivated enough to see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo starring Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyqvist; directed by Niels Arden Oplev; Swedish with subtitles; (2009) - Official Website

It was recommended to me by some friends and I wanted to see it in advance of the release of its sequel, The Girl Who Played with Fire which opens July 9 at the Landmark Embarcadero in San Francisco. The films are based on the "Millennium” series novels by the late Stieg Larsson. The third and final film in the series is The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest and is scheduled for an October release in the US.

The film has been well reviewed so I won't recap much of it. It clocks in at 2.5 hours but it went by quickly. Much of the film could have edited out if not for establishing the backstory of the two leads Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) and Lisabeth (Noomi Rapace). I guess this was necessary to set up the next two films. Most of Dragon Tattoo is a suspense film where the reporter Blomkvist and the cyberhacker Lisabeth investigate a 40 year old case involving the disappearance of a 16 year old girl in 1966. Nazis, anti-semitism, serial killings, sadism and Biblical verse play a role in the disappearance.

Peter Andersson and Noomi Rapace in The Girl With the Dragon TattooThe centerpiece of the film is Rapace's performance as Lisabeth. After writing about Japanese Pinky Violence, I can say that Lisabeth's revenge against her rapist is one of the ages. Her crooked guardian messed with the wrong cyberpunk. Actually, she opens up a can of whoop-ass on anyone that messes with her. Studded with piercings and tattoos all over her body, she looks like a punk rocker but Lisabeth has "hella hacking sklllz" that come in handy. She also has a photographic memory. In the minus column, she burned her father to death when she was a girl, is anti-social (although she seems promiscuous and bisexual) and has anger management issues.

Also standing out was the serial killer. I won't give away the mystery but the killer was particularly sociopathic. Michael Nyqvist as Blomqvist the Intrepid Reporter? He seemed a little flat but compared to Lisabeth, everyone in the film is subdued.


Perusing the movie guide, I'm surprised at how many 2010 San Francisco International Film Festival entries are now in release.

At various theaters in San Francisco, one can currently view Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, I Am Love, Winter's Bone, Micmacs, Restrepo and Everyone Else

I know that Air Doll and The Oath have come and gone from Landmark Theaters in San Francisco.

This year I went to more SFIFF screenings than ever before but given how many of their films are subsequently released (this occurs every year), I may revert to more judicious attendance at SFIFF screenings in the future.

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