The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo [Blu-Ray] Neils Arden Oplev

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo [Blu-Ray] Neils Arden Oplev
Unlike the latter two instalments of Stieg Larsson's Millennium trilogy (The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest), The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo didn't maintain its original Swedish title (Men Who Hate Women) when distributed to English speaking audiences. Presumably, this is because North American and British Conservative male audiences aren't thrilled with being told they're racist, misogynist sociopaths whose beliefs are founded on anti-Semitic religions and infrastructures that encourage genocide. And since the film doesn't explicitly proclaim its overt agenda, viewers can easily ignore this little inconvenience if it isn't announced. What this means is that the title is a bit of a narrative misnomer (even if it's thematically accurate), since this story isn't specifically about Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace), the titular expert female hacker with a mysterious past. It's mostly about Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) and his investigation of a girl that went missing 40 years prior, following his libel conviction for a story he published about a corrupt businessman. Hired to do a background check, Lisbeth becomes interested in his idealistic nature and his investigation of grainy photographic coverage of a parade and a strange list of names and five-digit numbers, emailing him discoveries and linkages. The religious and political overtones of this central mystery tie into a secondary storyline wherein Lisbeth takes revenge on her legal guardian whose sadistic predisposition eventually leads to rape. Female punishment at the hands of men in positions of power is the consistency, with a historical account contextualizing present abject morality. Lisbeth acts as a feminist heroine, fighting back and taking control while Mikael continually bumbles his way into sticky situations that require rescue. Along with its pulpy noir template, intricate plotting and propulsive story, this entertaining polemical parable is quite visionary, with clever shot compositions and an effective handling of colour, location and character-shaping moments of stillness. Unfortunately, Daniel Alfredson doesn't demonstrate the same directorial panache in the following trilogy instalments, which come off like above-average television movies. The Blu-Ray includes brief interviews with Noomi Rapace and producer Soren Staermose, along with some fun facts and the Vanger family tree, for anyone that got confused by the many people involved in the central mystery. Some trailers and first looks at The Girl Who Played with Fire are included as well. (Alliance)