Based on the title, poster and actors, it is unlikely I would ever suggest watching and even sitting through this two and a half hours suspense-thriller movie. In fact, I have not even read the best-selling trilogy which was adapted into the movie. I was told that the original Swedish movie is better but it came as no surprise to me because which original movie is always better than a remake of it?
So, it is good that I went to watch this movie without an inkling of the storyline. Starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara as the two lead characters, it wasn't apparent at the start how the two seemingly different characters would eventually come together.
It started off with Mickael, played by Daniel Craig, a political magazine publisher, who lost a libel suit against a billionaire and was hired by a retired CEO Henrik Vanger played by Christopher Plummer to write a memoir of him before he dies. Henrik wants Mickael to secretly investigate the disappearance of his then 16 years old niece Harriet in the year 1966 so that there is closure to the mystery that shrouded his family for years.
The investigation led to the meeting of the two to solve the mystery and found the psychopathic serial killer. Daniel Craig's character was rather wimpy and none of his James Bond's character strengths came through here. Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander was the young bisexual social outcast with a brilliant, analytical mind and excellent investigative skills who didn't fit into society's norms in every sense of the word. She adds tattoos to her body to numb the pain that she feels and slowly feels acceptance from the older Mickael.There are a few scenes of their explicit love-making and some violence involving rape and revenge too, which probably earned this a R21 rating here. Her elaborate schemes to thwart the billionaire which caused his eventual death, her pre-meditated revenge on her rapist and her saving of the almost castrated and killed Mickael were a testament of how intelligent and frightening she can be if she sets her mind to doing something.
Initially, I was bewildered by the title of the movie and questioned it. Slowly, it became clear that this movie is not about Harriet or Mickael or any other characters. It is all about Lisbeth and how all these other characters helped us understand her mental psyche and why she did what she did. It ended with her realizing that she was alone once again and it was only her wishful thinking that she could be with Mickael when she saw him leaving for somewhere with his wife in tow after the investigation finally concluded.
So there you go, I enjoyed this unusual non-block buster movie even though it was so damned long.