Like La Femme Nikita, this film focuses on a troubled young woman who ends up solving problems for the authorities, Lisbeth Salander played by Noomi Rapace has been institutionalized since the age of 12 when she attempted to burn her father to death. Out on probation, she works for a security company as a computer hacker. Through her surveillance of an investigative journalist by the name of Mikael Blomquist played by Michael Nyqvist, she finds someone with integrity, whom she can trust,
Much like Julian Assange of Wikileaks fame Blomquist has been sentenced to some jail time on trumped-up charges brought against him by those in the Swedish government who wish to stop his investigation of corporate interests. Before he goes to jail, Salander and he end up working together on a murder mystery.
The film is in Swedish with subtitles, but after a while your brain incorporates the subtitles into the speech of the actors and you forget that they are speaking another language.
It is a brutal and violent film with disturbing images. Stieg Larsen; the writer of the Millenium Trilogy of which this film is the first of the three that have been made from his novels, was an investigative journalist who made it his mission to expose the far right and the rise of neo-nazism in Sweden. This film focuses on a string of neo-nazi crimes in Sweden against women.
A venerated Swedish family has a few skeletons and swastikas in its closet. Blomquist and Salander are looking into a cold case file of the murder of a 16 year old girl and nothing is as it seems.
This movie has tremendous style and substance. While La Femme Nikita was mainly style, this film is a mystery, an action adventure, a political thriller, and a searing indictment of the treatment of women by men, Salander is vengeance personified. She is Skadi; the viking goddess of justice, vengeance and righteous anger wreaking a world of hurt on the bad men in the world. Blomquist has a pure and noble heart in his desire to expose corruption. Together, they form an unstoppable team. Rapace is amazing to watch as she deals with being damaged goods. Stoic in the face of adversity, she has a deep seething anger which occasionally rises to the surface in vicious pay back.
Nyquist is a highly subtle actor who plods along with his investigation within the limits of the law, analyzing the tidbits of information that come his way, slowly stripping away the lies and exposing the truth, while Rapace's dark avenger operates in the shadows. She operates outside the law to get her results.
A riveting movie experience.