This is one of those movies I'd heard was brilliant but had unfortunately put off watching for a decent amount of time because of an unexplained distaste for something I didn't actually understand. However I did finally get around to watching it and I can safely say I spent a good few hours of my life on something worth mentioning.
Daniel Craig plays a similar role to that of his Bond movies in the sense he becomes a kind of detective, looking for a criminal, and has a badass female sidekick that he becomes sexually involved with (doesn't he always). This being said, I can't help but feel Rooney Mara stole the show with her depiction of Lisbeth Salander (the girl that actually has the dragon tattoo). The story revolves around discredited Swedish journalist Mikael Blomkvist. He has a crumbling family and a hefty amount of legal fees to pay, oh and he might've been headed to prison when he's called in by an old and powerful family whom may have some evidence that could prove Blomkvist right, saving him from prison and giving the money to re balance all his accounts. In return for this, the head of the family Henrik Vanger asks Blomkvist to investigate the disappearance of his grand-niece Harriet 40 years previously. Accepting Vangers offer, Blomkvist hires a young, mentally damaged, researcher and computer hacker named Lisbeth Salander. Together they go on a series of adventures that eventually lead to the answers they require.
Along the way, Salander starts to work through some emotionally troubling issues whilst also avenging passed misdeeds. Together, she and the journalist make quite the team, bringing to light some horrendous crimes and solving some good old fashioned mysteries.
The thing I loved most about this movie wasn't the good effects or Daniel Craigs superb acting, although both were notable. It was Lisbeths humanity hidden beneath her rage and gothic portrayal. The majority of the other characters within the movie treated her with disdain at best, and truthfully she is a very anti-social character, but beneath it all, she was the character with the most morals, even if she didn't act on them in the most suitable way.
This is a murder mystery after all, the majority of which I tend to watch, I change the movie or fall asleep, simply because i'm pretty good at guessing the outcome. But this one really did take me some time to figure out, even at the end I wasn't sure so hats off to the writers. It holds many twists and turns to keep the watcher intrigued. This is another of those films where you miss a little, you miss a lot. It's not something to be watched half-heartedly, it requires your full attention to keep up with the fast pace, but if you've got the time and mental stability to watch it, your in for a treat.
There is a lot of sexual scenes and quite graphic images of violence, therefore I would not recommend showing it to younger children, even if you do find the storyline interesting. Although these scenes can be quite troubling to watch, without them the movie would fall flat. It's this graphic imagery that makes the story so compelling, it helps it gain momentum and gives the watcher a good cathartic ending. The characters are so strong and well thought through, you could literally imagine meeting them on the street, or maybe in a basement club in Lisbeths case. I found my self shouting abusive language when the bad guys were on, and laughing hysterically when Lisbeth gets her revenge on a certain someone with a cheque book.
In all, it's a brilliant film that entices the viewer to think about the society they live in. As it gets your mind racing, watchers can't help but start suspecting everyone they know, consumed with the idea that they too have a secret persona you don't know about. Definitely worth a watch, entertainment value aside, the story holds within it a perfect depiction of all the horrors humans hold within themselves. If your ready to delve into that then this is the perfect place to start.