We had planned to catch the film, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo at the Westmount Theatre a couple weeks ago. But we were a bit tardy in getting around to seeing it. Unfortunately, the movie ended its run on the day before we planned to go. I had read solid reviews about the film, and seeing that I am a huge David Fincher fan, I was very excited to see it. But alas, it wasn’t to be.
So I decided to do the next best thing, and borrowed the original Swedish version from our local public library. I have to say, I think the library is an excellent source to catch up on movies you may have missed. The catalogue size is impressive and I am always surprised at how quickly they get in new release films. And their collection of older movies is excellent. When I was going through my Akira Kurosawa phase, I think I saw around 16 of his films, all borrowed from the library. Another great reason to visit the library!
As mentioned in my Hyland Cinema post – I love foreign films. Reading subtitles doesn’t bother me at all, and I love the different cinematography and editing techniques in world cinema. Films from Germany, Japan, Spain and France just look and feel different than movies shot in North America. A producer or director that actually lives in these countries seems to have a better understanding of how to accurately portray a location and culture, as opposed to a film crew coming in from across the world to shoot. Sort of like the way no one films New York like Woody Allen. NYC seems to come alive as its own character in films like Annie Hall and Manhattan. So I was pretty keen on seeing this film from Niels Arden Oplev. I’ve always enjoyed films from countries like Sweden and Denmark. A couple of my favorites are Festen and Dogville. Both strange, off-beat and creepy little films. Right up my alley!
Now a little bit about my film reviews. I like to keep them really short. If you want to know the plot, the IMDB is a great source. And I don’t like to give too many details – nothing worse than reading a spoiler before seeing the movie yourself! One thing I can say about the original The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is that it really keeps your attention. The film clocks in at 2 hours and 34 minutes. I generally prefer movies under 2 hours, as I find a lot of them seem to cram in filler scenes and useless dialogue. But this movie seemed to go very quickly because the mystery really grabs your attention and takes you along for the ride. All the performances are top notch and the plot is very tight without any gaping holes – which I love. In particular, Noomi Rapace in her role as the punker heroine Lisbeth is fantastic. I should warn you though – there are a couple graphic rape scenes that I could have done without watching, but they were integral to the storyline. Other than that, not a lot of violence. At least, most of it was dished out to those that deserved it. I give this film a 8.2 / 10. If you like thrillers and don’t mind subtitles, I highly recommend it. If anyone has seen the new version, or better yet, has seen both versions, I would love to hear your thoughts. Now I am looking forward to complete the trilogy with The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.
As an aside, being an unapologetic design geek, another thing I like about foreign films is seeing the different production company logos. This film was produced by Yellow Bird, among others. Love their logo and the animated bird. Very cool. For now, back to the cage.