The late Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy was all about cruelty towards women -- and the movie adaptations don't hold back either. These are bleak, dark thrillers filled with razor-sharp social commentary, bloody action and conspiracies -- and brilliant performances by Michael Nyqvist and Noomi Rapace.
In "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo," take-no-prisoners journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) has just lost his reputation, his savings and his freedom (hello, jail sentence!) after a nasty libel suit from an executive named Wennerström.
Then he's unexpectedly contacted by aged industrialist Henrik Vanger, to discover what happened to the guy's grandniece. He's offering evidence on Wennerström, so Mikael has no choice but to accept -- and as he investigates the sinister Vanger family, he joins forces with Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace), an eccentric, abused computer hacker. And as Mikael unearths the clues to Harriet's disappearance, he also finds some skeletons long kept buried.
"The Girl Who Played With Fire" finds Mikael investigating sex trafficking in his own country, and young girls who are sold into it. Unknown to him, Lisbeth is keeping very close tabs on his work -- especially since she was abused as a child, and now plots revenge on the sex traffickers. But when she's accused of murder and ends up on the run, Mikael must discover what lies at the core of these crimes...
And finally, "The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets' Nest": Lisbeth has been shot in the head, her malevolent father Zalachenko is in the same hospital claiming that she tried to kill him, and some nasty government forces want her locked away, as she was as a child. Her only hope lies in Mikael, who must unravel a government conspiracy formed around the young hacker...
"The Stieg Larsson Trilogy" takes the usual mystery/thriller plots and promptly turns them on their heads. They take place in a dark, dangerous, unfair world where the truth is quashed and women are treated horribly -- and no one more so than the eccentric, angry "girl with the dragon tattoo."
And the movies translate Larsson's novels beautifully. Niels Arden Oplev gives a raw, bone-chilling power to the first movie; Daniel Alfredson doesn't have quite the same kinetic touch, but both men do brilliant jobs with their films. And they weave in some horribly disturbing scenes (the ghastly, helpless rape of Lisbeth by her corrupt "guardian" -- followed by a gleefully horrific scene where she gets her revenge).
And Mikael and Salander make an intriguing odd couple -- Nyquist's journalist starts world-weary and demoralized that he seems to care about nothing, but regains his passion for the truth. And Rapace is absolutely electric as Lisbeth, who is one of the most devastatingly brilliant characters in modern cinema -- she's a wild, bleeding creature hiding her bruises behind a mask of piercings and jet-dyed hair, and whose torn-up heart begins to heal when she meets Mikael.
"The Steig Larsson Trilogy" is a powerful trio of movies that never stops hitting you in the gut when you least expect it. Absolutely brilliant.
on December 10, 2011
I had read the books and then learned that this trilogy was available. My husband (who had not read the books)and I watched them, one each night and became very immersed in the story. The movies are very close to the book, which is an unusual happening in Hollywood. There was the additional element of the powerful Swedish dramatic cinematic delivery that has held true from Bergman to today.
A bonus was the fact that we could choose either Swedish vocals with English subtitles or in English only. We watched the first two in Swedish and the last movie in English. I prefer hearing the Swedish language (it becomes natural to read the subtitles); my husband preferred the movies in English.
on December 20, 2011
The trilogy, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is IN-credible...............beautifully, professionally, artistically presented.............Nonstop action which means those subtitles whirl past with lightening speed..........trust me, you don't want to take your eyes off the screen.........can't wait to see how the original film(s) and the soon-to-be-released American version compare.............I'd bet the original will win.....................
on March 18, 2012
Hang on to your seat! You're in for a scary ride! Violent, twisted & bazaar, at times you wish you were not watching.....but you have to see what's going to happen!! I'm not a fan of sub-titles & they only give you seconds to read them, but the story was so dramatic it kept us going. Not a movie for the faint of heart.
on May 31, 2012
GREAT set .... watched with subtitles....more down to earth actors...than Hollywood interpretation, although both have strengths and weaknesses. At least the original didn't mess with the ending. There is so much detail in the books that a movie will never satisfy every reader. That being said, I still recommend the set.
on March 3, 2013
The thing I admired about these films most was the degree of faithfulness to the original novels. The mood and the landscapes are wonderfully dark, and the acting of the two main characters is exceptional. Could there actually be people like this in Sweden, or anywhere, for that matter? Probably not quite, but what the hell!