The story begins with reporter Blomkvist (Nyqvist) who is found guilty of libel who while waiting to service his sentence is employed by a reclusive retired businessman Henrick Vanger - who is also the head of the rambling and dysfunctional family. Henrick asks Blomkvist to investigate the disappearance of his niece, Harriet, 40 years ago.
Blomkvist finds help in the investigation from the feisty Salander - a many tattooed and pierced investigator who specialises in illegally hacking computers to get the information that is needed. Between them they unravel a series of murders in the hope it will lead them to solve the mystery of Harriet's disappearance.
The book is very well realised on the screen, in particular Noomi Rapace takes the role of Lisbeth brilliantly, conveying the uncompromising, defensive but intelligent character. She's a little bigger than I expected - don't get me wrong the Rapace is tiny but in the book Lisbeth is described as almost childlike in build but that's the only negative I have about her performance - I can't wait to see her in the next two films. For me the weak character in the film is Blomkvist - hes not the most exciting of characters and in the book hes described as easily handsome who is attractive to women and Nyqvist, for me, doesn't really fit the bill. He looks distractingly pasty and is sadly quite bland - not the charismatic man I expected. I wonder if he would have come over better if I hadn't read the book - but I will never know.
As for the film - its great, its full of twists and turns and also for fans of the book doesn't compromise on Lisbeth's problems with her guardian - although I do concede that the scenes might be a bit strong for some people to handle. The sweeping landscapes are also brilliantly shot and although I feel that the story may jump into happy coincidence too easily if you haven't read the book its more than worth a view.
Roll on the next two films and go and watch it now!
Directed by Niels Arden Oplev
Michael Nyqvist - Mikael Blomkvist
Noomi Rapace - Lisbeth Salander
Lena Endre - Erika Berger
Peter Haber - Marting Vnager
Sven-Bertil Taube - Henrik Vanger
Peter Andersson - Nils Bjurman
For the official site of the author and creator Stig Larsson
Read more at: Nerve Curve