One of the most talked about films overseas this year, with buzz already stirring of an American version this picture is rich with original suspense and layered beyond belief. The Swedish film is adapted from a novel, as the best thrillers are; it manages to use every element that could possibly fit into the film. The foreign nature of the film certainly adds to the allure, and the actors all make their parts deliciously refreshing and memorable. It’s rare especially in English language films and scripts to find a mystery this compelling and involved, it even reminds me of great mystery thrillers like The Pelican Brief or even The Silence of the Lambs.

      As a popular journalist Michael (Mikael Nyqvist) prepares to serve his jail sentence after being found guilty of falsifying documents against a large business he was trying to expose; he is offered a job digging up anything he can find on a 40 year old murder. Henrik Vanger (Svenp-Bertil Taube) hires Michael in hopes of discovering what happened to his niece before he dies, and he is certain someone in the extensive Vanger family is responsible. A young female computer hacker Lisbeth (Noomi Rapace) who silently investigated Michael is the only person who can prove his innocence decides to finally make contact with him to help with the Vanger mystery.

      The title of the film is somewhat misleading and has hardly anything to do with the films subject matter; I saw this movie expecting Asian martial arts. Taboo subjects come into play and make every scene more shocking yet engrossing. Rape, murder, scandal, and intrigue make the two and a half hour film fly by because you are so curious at the conclusion of the mystery.

Rapace creates such interest in her character. She doesn’t say much, but her physical acting is her strength. Neils Arden isn’t concerned with entertaining, that effect is an afterthought because of all the ingredients. I cringe to see what the English version of this film will be, but if they stay true to what made this fascinating then it will be great for more people to enjoy.

 Final Thought – An impressive and fascinating overseas mystery.

Grade B+

By: Dustin Chase W.

Editor: Jennifer Gih