CRIME; 2hr 26min
STARRING: Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace, Sven-Bertil Taube
Crack team: Rapace and Nyqvist
In 1966, Scandinavian teenager Harriet Vanger, a member of the secretive, unsavoury and stinking rich Vanger family, goes missing and stays that way. Forty years later, her 84-year-old uncle Henrik Vanger (Taube) is still obsessed with what he believes was her murder. In a last hurrah, he hires Stockholm reporter Mikael Blomkvist (Nyqvist), a man with rock-bottom career issues, to chase down the past. Vanger HQ is a desolate island, to which Mikael relocates for six months with nothing-to-lose resignation. And although he doesn’t know it at first, he isn’t working alone: punkish powerhouse computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (Rapace; a knockout) is also on Harriet’s case while chasing down demons of her own.
Mikael and Lisbeth are a tongue-and-groove pair whose unearthing of family secrets is a catalogue of the sick and the disturbing. But the real mystery bristling beneath director Niels Arden Opev’s sharply defined surface (based on Steig Larsson’s posthumous 2005 bestseller) is that of Lisbeth herself. As prickly and private as undergrowth, she’s an unclassifiable heroine for harsh and uncertain times.