If you are a film based on a book or novel, you are already subject to a lot of criticism. Whether you end up loving the film or hating it, the book usually takes all the love. It is the most complete version of the story, introduces characters, leads you to an exciting climax, and usually leaves you wanting more.
While I may not have read the book, I know that it is worth reading because the Swedish version of the film is dark, dramatic, and provocative. You know you are in for a great show when a movie requires your undivided attention.
It may be argued that you are a long film, but the drama and suspense that you build from the cat and mouse chase that you present is fun and entertaining. As a source of entertainment, no matter what the genre is, a film can be great if you consider it fun to watch.
For both of your protagonists, Mikael and Lisbeth, you feel compassion. They are both characters that are marginalized in society for different reasons, yet they come together for a common cause. I must say that the casting of that odd couple was fantastic. Rarely do you see in film such different characters so perfectly matched.
Lisbeth is the dark and mysterious character that piques your interest because, coming from a person that has not read the Millennium series, there is little that you know about her. She is just as revealing as she is mysterious. What you do know is that beyond the dark persona that she is presenting, both figuratively and literally, is a dark past that you must learn about.
Its exclusion in this film is a brilliant decision because you are subtle with your hints at who she is, but you never reveal enough to give her whole story. Therefore you set up a principle story line for the next film in the series, The Girl Who Played With Fire.
Lisbeth is a character that you could truly call a heroine because despite the tragic experiences that she has gone through, she remains true to herself. Those experiences have influenced who she is now, but they haven’t entirely shaped who she is as a person.
What also worked brilliantly for you as a film is the uncertainty of who your villain or villains are. From the beginning, you can sense the presence of evil doing, but as you present Lisbeth throughout the film, you reveal bits and pieces about your villains; thus keeping my interest in you intact.
To add drama and suspense to Mikael’s task of uncovering a mystery, you establish the story line that no one is being accused of the crime, but all should be considered as suspects until proven innocent. It appears to be a daunting task, but that is where his heart and passion for his work takes over.
As more and more clues are discovered, and the mystery solved, you feel great for those that have been affected. However, it’s brilliant film work because there are still many questions left to be answered. So you set-up great story lines for future films in the series. The best part about that is that you hint at another film very effortlessly, and that makes you and the others, a must see!