ONE advantage of never having read Stieg Larsson’s bestseller means that Swedish director Niels Arden Oplev’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo came as a complete surprise. It didn’t seem to have a lot going for it as it was made in Sweden, the home of long drawn-out gloomy cinema. It was also subtitled and lasted for over two and a half hours. Still, Ulster was in the middle of a wild late March ice-storm so an afternoon in a nice, warm dry cinema seemed to have a lot going for it.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has wowed audiences all over the world. This dark thriller opens as journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) is sent down for three months in prison when a magazine scoop he wrote on a big businessman goes up in smoke. He was set up as his sources refused to back up his story once it was published.
In the meantime he is hired by another businessman to investigate the disappearance and suspected murder of his 16-year-old niece Hannah some forty years back. This man’s rich and powerful family is riven with strife and petty jealousies. Two senior members of the family were activists in the Swedish Nazi party. One had even been commended by Hitler himself. The journalist’s job was to discover if any member of the family had murdered Hannah. As his journalistic career was in tatters he accepted the job.
The undoubted star of this unexpected international box-office sensation is Noomi Rapace who gives a rivetting performance in the role of Lisbeth Salander; the girl with the dragon tattoo. Lisbeth is an eye-catching cyberpunk straight out of one of William Gibson’s novels. She is haunted by a troubled past and her interaction with other people seems to suggest she has Asperger’s Syndrome.
An accomplished computer hacker, Lisbeth follows the journalist’s investigations and finds herself joing forces with him to find out what happened to the missing girl. According to press reports the director of Seven and Zodiac, David Fincher is planning an American remake starring Natalie Portman. Niels Arden Oplev’s memorable effort is much more of a dark and twisted murder mystery than either of Fincher’s masterpieces. He really will have to pull out all the stops to keep up with it. For those who can’t wait you would do well to get hold of the DVD of what is bound to become a cult classic.

Reviewed by David Kerr


  • Michael Nyqvist as Mikael Blomkvist
  • Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander
  • Sven-Bertil Taube as Henrik Vanger
  • Peter Haber as Martin Vanger
  • Marika Lagercrantz as Cecilia Vanger
  • Lena Endre as Erika Berger – Blomqvist’s colleague and long-time lover
  • Björn Granath as Police Inspector Morell
  • Ingvar Hirdwall as Dirch Frode – Henrik’s lawyer
  • Peter Andersson as Bjurman – Lisbeth’s legal guardian
  • Michalis Koutsogiannakis as Dragan – Lisbeth’s boss
  • Ewa Fröling as Harriet Vanger
  • Gunnel Lindblom as Isabella Vanger
  • Gösta Bredefeldt as Harald Vanger
  • Stefan Sauk as Hans-Erik Wennerström
  • Jacob Ericksson as Christer Malm
  • Sofia Ledarp as Malin Eriksson
  • David Dencik as Janne
Norway:15 | Sweden:15 | Switzerland:16 (canton of Vaud) | Switzerland:16 (canton of Geneva) | France:-12 | Finland:K-15 | Switzerland:18 (canton of Bern) | Spain:18 | Italy:VM14 | Canada:13+ (Quebec) | Iceland:16 | Netherlands:16 | Portugal:M/16 (Qualidade) | Germany:16 | UK:18 | Argentina:16 | Chile:TE | Australia:MA | New Zealand:R16 | Ireland:18 | Japan:R15+ | Denmark:15 | Brazil:16 (re rating) | Brazil:18 (original rating)

1 Comment »

  1. A film I am now enticed to seek out and watch!!


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