I haven't read Stieg Larsson's novel from which this is based or any of the Millennium Trilogy, but I have heard quite a bit about them and this film lately so my venture into renting this was one of pure curiosity. To put what I thought of this film simply would be to inform you that I will be purchasing this very soon. Going in I had no idea what to expect story or character wise. In only seeing the cover art I assumed (wrongly) this was some teen indie about outcasts and how they were picked on and dealt with issues. The last thing I would have expected was a grand murder mystery tale that hearkens back to novels of old. 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' is a great mystery both in the case its two main protagonists are trying to solve and in the characters themselves. Having no knowledge of these actors past roles I thought Noomi Rapace was terrific in the part of Lisbeth Salander who has been made out to be one of the greater female characters conceived in a long time. I truly wish I could see how well Rapace filled out this character from page to screen-simply from watching an interview with her I could see the transformation she went through and can imagine she inherited every quirk and trait from the character Larsson created in his novels. It is unclear as to how Salander will really be incorporated into the more intriguing aspect of the story (the Vanger family mystery) for the first hour or so of the film, but we always have a sense that careful attention need be paid as there is certainly reason for things that happen that we don't necessarily see the purpose of. These effects are aided by the tension filled pace of the movie, at two and half hours this isn't a short film, but never did I feel like the film drug or did I catch myself looking at my watch. What really makes this stand out is the odd pairing of Salander and journalist Mikael Blomkvist, who is played with a certain amount of rugged yet stand-up guy qualities by Michael Nyqvist. It is easy to see why Viggo Mortensen would be good choice for the role in the Hollywood versions of these films. The partnership and possibly romantic involvement of these two is not only odd to us but to them as well it seems, but they work well together, so well in fact it is that bond of intelligence and determination that creates the believability of them getting along and becoming more than just co-workers. There is some pretty brutal violence and rape scenes in the film and without giving much away it can be said that the theme of the film focuses around people affected by such violence. These elements set 'Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' apart as not only a murder mystery but as a film in general. We can only hope that Hollywood keeps these themes and scenes in tact, for they not only set it apart but create the heart and emotional impact of the story.

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