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"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" starts a new antiheroic series in the realm of Hannibal Lechter - CinemaDave

Apr. 6th, 2010 10:04 am "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" starts a new antiheroic series in the realm of Hannibal Lechter

Steig Larsson was a Swedish journalist who died of heart attack in 2004 at the age of 50. Larsson also wrote science fiction and challenged the status quo of political power. While Larsson's assets went to his father and brother, it was disputed by his longtime partner and the local Swedish local socilaist organization that expected Larsson's inheritance. Like Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley, Steig Larsson is worth more money in death than he ever made alive.

The reason for Larsson's post mortem financial windfall is **The Girl With a Dragon Tatoo,** the first book of his *Millennium** trilogy, which includes the books **The Girl who Played with Fire** and recently released **The Girl Who kicked Over the Hornet's Nest.** In terms of crime novels, Larsson's trilogy are popular as popular as Thomas Harris' **Hannibal Lechter** books. There are discussions that George Clooney and Brad Pitt are optioning the rights to produce the **Millennium.** However one does not have to wait for Hollywood to get their act together to watch **The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo,** one can see this Swedish made film with subtitles at a theatre near you.

A rich Swedish industralist named Vanger receives a package that reduces him to tears. Vanger contacts controversal journalist Mikael Blomkvist and asks writer to investigate a murder from 1966. While Bolmkvist makes inquires on Vanger's private island, the journalist is being observed by his internet guardian angel, Lisbeth Salander, alias *The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo.**

Besides wearing a dragon tatoo and having rings in her nose, Lisbeth is also an antisocial punk rockers with the intuitive gift of investigation. She is an outpatient from a mental institution who is assigned a guardian to look over her fianancial situation. While she has often been victimized, Lisbeth's retaliation often gets her cited for criminal behavior. In a sense, Lisbeth is an antihero in the mold of Hannibal Lechter.

Given how opposite Lisbeth and Blomkvist are, the two people form a great detective team as they uncover the mysteries of Vanger Island. Part Cagney & Lacey and part Riggs & Murtaugh, the enjoyment is watching Lisbeth and Blmkvist develop their relationship and test each other's boundaries. When not confronting evil or chasing cars with golf clubs (how timely), the joy is watching two damaged individuals become tender with each other.

One should be warned, there is ample sadistic and masochistic violence in this Swedish film. Lacking the MPAA restraint, the ticket buyer will witness brutal action upon Lisbeth. Lisbeth retaliates with justified clinical retraint as ugly as an English boarding school master with a stick. Given the starkness of the nordic setting, there is a realism to these scenes that is hard to shake off.

**The Girl With a Dragon Tatoo** is a good dective story with fascinating characters. While brutal at times, there are some beautiful moments featuring the Swedish Winterland and the growth of two damaged characters. While it might take the Hollywood Status Quo a few years to figure out how to produce the **Milliennium** trilogy, this film columnist prefers the authenticity and intimacy of this home grown movie from the Nordic culture.

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