Engaging, suspenseful, well-acted, atmospheric, and technically well-made Swedish thriller, based on the first book in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy (which I have not read; Amazon.com/AdLibris.se). Clichés and little originality notwithstanding, there is a certain freshness to the proceedings, and the film is one of the better Swedish entries in the genre. The movie contains a couple of very disturbing and intense scenes that linger in the mind. While the ending makes the film feel slightly too long, it also ties up a few loose ends quite nicely. Michael Nyqvist convincingly portrays Mikael Blomkvist, but his character is underdeveloped; Noomi Rapace is excellent and memorable as Lisbeth Salander; in a smaller role, Peter Andersson is appropriately disgusting and slimy as Nils Bjurman. Sure-handed direction by Niels Arden Oplev.
While Cannes frenzy was slowly building up and talk of cinema brought a spark to the eyes of even the most laid-back average French person, one film had crowds lining up in Paris. Following drumbeats, Niels Arden Oplev’s “Millennium” opened mid-May on thousands of screens nationwideFor once, the hype isn’t hype. Wow! The film based on the first of the Stieg Larsson Swedish thriller trilogy, is a miracle of taunt filmmaking and perfect casting. Clocking in at two hours and twenty minutes, it’s still far too short as you want it to go on and on. Investigative journalist Mikael Blombvkist (Michael Nykvist) has just been sentenced to a three-months jail stint for having written about a financier’s offshore tax shelters. Still free while waiting for the set date, he is contacted by an industry tycoon, now retired and reclusive, who wants the journalist, now admired by the public for his ethics and professionalism, to see if he can find clues to the forty-year old unsolved murder of the tycoon’s niece. Blombvkist is helped in the strange quest on a strange island by a troubled girl, a goth hacker with piercings and tattoos, played by the absolutely extraordinary Noomi Rapace.
Saideh Pakravan@Screen Comment