THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO // Like many film adaptations of great novels, the film version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo falls short. One rule should go without saying: though a book may have a great original story, the film may not play out as such. Either the story was just not meant to be a film or the director/screenwriters do not handle the piece well. In this case, the words on paper end up far more interesting than the film portrayed from the pages.
Normally the film’s best feature over the book is the ability to visualize the unimaginable. Films like Harry Potter and the Da Vinci Code bring to life what only the author of the books could ever visualize. The aspect I enjoyed visualized was the photos Mikael Blomkvist (Nyqvist) uses to investigate a murder from the past. The images of the young blond turning towards the camera and facing her unknown assailant are haunting and the photo-journalism detective work he does to uncover the truth is the only part of the journey worth visualizing.
With two more films already made and ready for release, I wonder how much more in depth the films will get, especially with the actual girl with the dragon tattoo, Lisbeth (Rapace). Having not read either of the second or third book, I look forward to finding out before the next releases which are coming soon.
The film does have subtitles and at almost two & a half hours, you might just as well pick up the book and enjoy the complexity that the novel indulges rather than meander into the shallow world of the open-and-shut case that the film version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo has to offer.
With an unconvincing Michael Nygvist and the Noomi Rapace performance cut down extremely from what the book originated, the cast is unable to carry the slow plot and textbook murder mystery.
[Directed by Niels Arden Oplev] [R] [152 min] [19 March 2010]