The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Review by Sam

The title of this film made me quite sceptical when going in to watch this film. In all honesty, I thought it was going to be a marshal arts type film that dealt with a master training a young protégée to become a great fighting hero. I had heard nothing of the film, I hadn’t seen the trailer, and was only viewing the film because it was assigned by my University lecturer. Not only that, but when I heard the film ran for over 160 minutes, I became even less enthused.

Well, let me tell you that I was quite surprised. Now this isn’t to say I loved the film, but it was not what I thought it was going to be at all.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Poster

Rather, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is a foreign film, a Swedish film to be more precise, that focuses on a murder-mystery, that has now become a cold case, and concentrates on the lives of a middle aged man, Mikael Blomkvist trying to get to the bottom of who it was that committed the crime. The film also directs its attention and a young woman, Lisbeth Salander, who has an extremely difficult life, and who is a secret hacker that joins forces with Mikael to solve the case.

This film is extremely confronting and quite graphic. The way certain scenes are portrayed are done so in an enormously realistic way, which made a lot of the scenes difficult to watch – and that’s coming from an avid lover of psychological-thrillers, in which I never have an issue with the content that’s shown on screen. In a way, this realistic content did convey a message, whether a key message or not, in an extremely effective way. But on the other hand, it left me feeling quite disturbed, and the scenes felt unnecessarily drawn out.

The script and story were extremely well thought out, as a film based on a book usually is, and the suspense was great – which I always enjoy. One thing that is contrary to what I usually say, is that the character development was too intense, and too in depth. They could have easily cut out a lot of the films running time by shortening scenes and leaving elements up to the audience to figure out, rather than showing everything as plain as can be – which I found quite irritating.

Additionally, the film had about five different endings. At one point I thought the film was complete, and as I looked at the time, I realised there was still a comfortable 45 minutes of the films duration remaining. It could have been done in a way that left the audience wanting more, and therefore it wouldn’t have surprised its audience by giving us another few endings. This was another somewhat confusing element of the film.

Other than these few elements that I found fairly disappointing, the film as an entirety was entertaining, thrilling, and had a great amount of twists and turns, of which I thoroughly enjoy in films. The cinematography was pleasing, the acting was more than satisfactory, and the sound and music, well apart from the nicely timed suspense scenes, I didn’t really notice them, which meant they served the plot well and were not distracting – always a positive.

Putting the positives, of which I only briefly spoke about, and the negatives together –

I give it three reels.


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