Excellent Swedish crime drama contains graphic sexual violence. Kids beware!
(This review is about the Extended Edition)
You need to know that "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" is nothing you can compare to a Hollywood movie. It is a Swedish film adaption from a Swedish novel and of course there are cultural differences. The camera doesn't cut away from things that are quite violent and rough.
The movie tells the story of Lisbeth Salander, who at first sight looks like an antagonist. She has piercings, tattoos and is pretty unemotional. Throughout the movie we see why she became who she is and we can understand her.
At the same time, we hear the story of Mikael Blomqvist, a journalist working for the magazine "Millennium", whose mission it is to solve a crime that has been commited 40 years ago. Both plot lines cross each other and towards the middle of the movie, it becomes one plot.
You can see from the movie's structure that they did not tried to make this movie the international success it finally became, and so you have to be aware that you will not get a Hollywood-drama if you watch this film. Noomi Rapace is great as the troubled hacker Lisbeth Salander and should have been nominated for an Oscar. From the beginning to the end she looks like a woman you don't want to mess with, and fits perfectly for her role.
The screenplay is just perfectly written and the movie's tempo is fine, because it is neither too lengthy nor too short. The cinematography was just perfect and the whole plot was interesting. "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" is one of the last decade's best movies and is an excellent thriller overall.
However, this is NOT a kid's movie.
The movie deals with rape, violence against women (the Swedish original title means "Men who hate women"), racism, revenge and homophobia. None of this is depicted glorifying, but it is very graphic and hard to watch.
(SPOILERS may follow:)
A woman is forced to perform oral sex on a man in order to get money. We do not see any nudity but it is clearly visible what happens.
A woman is cuffed to a bed and is then raped. We don't see any nudity, but it is shown in detail.
The woman takes revenge when raping the man by shoving a sex toy up his anus. She then takes a tattoo machine and carves "I am a rapist pig" into his belly. A man with a rope around his neck is almost hung to death. A man is burned alive. Several photographs of bloody corpses. In one scene, we see one lying on the ground (though it is not really there, only to show where the body was found).
(END OF SPOILERS).
"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" takes a lot of maturity because of its graphic sexual violence. Better watch it before letting your kids watch it. You perhaps need to talk to them first. Older teenagers around 16 should handle it, if they are mature enough.
This title contains:
Violence & scariness