The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009 film)
|The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo|
Swedish release poster
|Directed by||Niels Arden Oplev|
|Produced by||Søren Stærmose|
|Screenplay by||Nikolaj Arcel
|Based on||The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
by Stieg Larsson
|Music by||Jacob Groth|
|Edited by||Anne Østerud|
|Distributed by||Nordisk Film|
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Swedish: Män som hatar kvinnor – literally – Men who hate women) is a 2009 Swedish drama thriller based on the novel of the same name by Swedish author/journalist Stieg Larsson. It is the first book in the trilogy known as the Millennium series, published in Sweden in 2005. The director is Niels Arden Oplev. By August 2009, it had been sold to 25 countries outside Scandinavia, most of them planning a release in 2010, and had been seen by more than 6 million people in the countries where it was already released. The protagonists were played by Michael Nyqvist and Noomi Rapace.
In December 2002, Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist), publisher of Millennium magazine, loses a libel case involving allegations he published about billionaire financier Hans-Erik Wennerström (Stefan Sauk). He is sentenced to three months in prison and a hefty fine. Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace), a brilliant but damaged surveillance agent and hacker, is hired by Henrik Vanger (Sven-Bertil Taube), the patriarch of the wealthy Vanger family, to investigate Blomkvist. Vanger then hires Blomkvist to investigate the disappearance of his niece, Harriet, who vanished on Children's Day in 1966. Vanger believes that Harriet was murdered by a family member.
Salander, who was ruled mentally incompetent as a child, is appointed a new legal guardian, Nils Bjurman (Peter Andersson), after her previous guardian suffers a stroke. Bjurman, a sexual sadist, forces Salander to perform fellatio on him in return for the money she needs to buy a new computer; he withholds the full amount she has requested. At her next meeting with Bjurman, he beats and rapes her. Having used a hidden camera to record Bjurman raping her, Salander returns to take her revenge, torturing him and threatening to ruin him unless he gives her full control of her life and finances. She then uses a tattoo gun to brand Bjurman's abdomen with the message "I am a sadist pig and a rapist".
Blomkvist moves into a cottage on the Vanger estate, and meets the Vanger family, including Harriet's brother Martin (Peter Haber) and cousin Cecilia (Marika Lagercrantz). Inside Harriet's diary, he finds a list of five names alongside what might appear to be phone numbers. He visits police inspector Morell (Björn Granath), who informs him that his investigation team had been unable to decipher them. After viewing photographs taken during the Children's Day parade, Blomkvist sees Harriet's facial expression change suddenly just before she leaves and, after getting photographs taken from the same side of the street as her, comes to believe that Harriet may have seen her murderer that day.
Using her access to Blomkvist's computer, Salander learns that the numbers in Harriet's diary are references to verses in the Book of Leviticus, and emails Blomkvist anonymously. Blomkvist works out that Salander sent the mail, and hires her as a research assistant. Together, Blomkvist and Salander connect all but one of the names on Harriet's list to murdered women. They are all Jewish names, which intrigues Blomkvist, as the Vanger family has a long history of antisemitism. During the investigation, Blomkvist and Salander become lovers.
They suspect Henrik's reclusive brother Harald (Gösta Bredefeldt) to be the murderer, as the two other Vanger brothers had already died by the time Harriet disappeared. Salander searches through Vanger's business records to trace Harald to the crime scenes, while Blomkvist breaks into Harald's house, believing it to be unoccupied. When Harald attacks Blomkvist, Martin appears and saves him. He escorts Blomkvist to his home, where Blomkvist reveals what he and Salander have uncovered. Martin drugs him. In the meantime, Salander's search of the company accounts points to Martin and his late father, Gottfried, having been jointly responsible for the murders. She returns to the cottage to find Blomkvist missing.
Blomkvist wakes to find himself bound in Martin's cellar. Martin brags about raping and murdering women for decades, but denies killing Harriet, insisting that she disappeared. As Martin is in the process of hanging Blomkvist, Salander appears and attacks Martin with a golf club. While she frees Blomkvist, Martin flees in his car. Salander gives chase on her motorcycle. Martin drives his car off the road and Salander finds him trapped in the wreckage but still alive. The car goes up in flames, and she does nothing to save him.
Blomkvist realises that Cecilia's late sister Anita was the near-double of Harriet, and that some of the film taken on the day of Harriet's disappearance show Anita, not Harriet as previously thought. Blomkvist and Salander discover that Harriet (Ewa Fröling) has been using Anita's name, and is still alive in Australia. Blomkvist flies there to look for her, and persuades her to return to Sweden, where she is reunited with her uncle. Harriet explains the truth about her disappearance: that her father and her brother had repeatedly raped her; that she killed her father by drowning him only to find herself being blackmailed by Martin; and that her cousin Anita had smuggled her away from the island.
Salander's mother, living in a nursing home, apologises for not choosing a "better papa" for her.
Salander visits Blomkvist in prison and gives him new information on the Wennerström case. After his release Blomkvist publishes a new story on Wennerström in Millennium, which ruins Wennerström and makes the magazine a national sensation. Wennerström is soon found dead. His offshore bank account in the Cayman Islands is raided; the police suspect a young woman caught on CCTV, whom Blomkvist recognises as Salander in disguise. The film ends with Salander, dressed very smartly as she exits her car, walking along a sunny beach promenade.
- Michael Nyqvist as Mikael Blomkvist
- Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander
- Lena Endre as Erika Berger
- Sven-Bertil Taube as Henrik Vanger
- Peter Haber as Martin Vanger
- Peter Andersson as Nils Bjurman
- Marika Lagercrantz as Cecilia Vanger
- Ingvar Hirdwall as Dirch Frode
- Björn Granath as Gustav Morell
- Ewa Fröling as Harriet Vanger
- Michalis Koutsogiannakis as Dragan Armansky
- Annika Hallin as Annika Giannini
- Tomas Köhler as "Plague"
- Gunnel Lindblom as Isabella Vanger
- Gösta Bredefeldt as Harald Vanger
- Stefan Sauk as Hans-Erik Wennerström
- Jacob Ericksson as Christer Malm
- Julia Sporre as young Harriet Vanger
- Tehilla Blad as young Lisbeth Salander
- Sofia Ledarp as Malin Eriksson
- David Dencik as Janne Dahlman
- Reuben Sallmander as Enrico Giannini
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was well received by critics. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a normalized score of 86% based on 168 reviews, with an average score of 7.2/10 and declares it "Certified Fresh". The critical consensus is: "Its graphic violence and sprawling length will prove too much for some viewers to take, but Noomi Rapace's gripping performance makes The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo an unforgettable viewing experience." Metacritic gives the film a weighted average score of 76% based on reviews from 36 critics. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film four out of four stars, noting that "[the film] is a compelling thriller to begin with, but it adds the rare quality of having a heroine more fascinating than the story".
Awards and nominations
French premium pay television channel Canal+ aired extended versions of the three movies as a mini-series (6×90 minutes) between March and June 2010, before the theatrical release of the second and third movies. The series premiere attracted over 1.1 million viewers. Considering the network is only available in 8 million French households, the series was a substantial success. The series aired on US pay-for-view cable networks in the weeks leading up to the release of David Fincher's 2011 film adaptation of the novel.
In France, the audience of the Canal+ broadcast of the first part on 22 March 2010 was 1.2 million (18% of the channel's subscribers in the country) and the largest audience of a foreign series at Canal+ that year.
- "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo director queries US remake". BBC News. 10 November 2010. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
- "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2010)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
- "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 7 December 2011.
- "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo". Metacritic. Retrieved 2012-07-16.
- Ebert, Roger (17 March 2010). "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2012-09-02.
- "Män som hatar kvinnor en internationell kassasuccé". The Swedish Film & TV Producers (in Swedish). 4 August 2009. Retrieved 2012-07-16.
- "Millennium trilogy". yellowbird.se. 25 March 2010. Retrieved 13 January 2011.[not in citation given]
- Official website
- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo at the Internet Movie Database
- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo at AllMovie
- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo at the Swedish Film Institute Database
- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo at Box Office Mojo
- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo at Metacritic
- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo at Rotten Tomatoes
- Charlie Rose: A look at the film 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' with director Niels Arden Oplev