An investigation where there are no clues left to find, little if any cooperation from those around you, any of whom could be the killer you are looking for. What’s the plan? Is there one?
Mikael Blomkvist (played by Daniel Craig) is co-owner and writer for Millennium magazine and has recently suffered a professional setback that could bankrupt him and his publication. An unscrupulous man with alleged criminal dealings has won a libel suit that might end his career. Soon after, however, Henrik Vanger (played by Christopher Plummer) makes him an offer. Find out who is responsible for the disappearance and likely death of his niece Harriet 40 years earlier. He also believes that whoever’s responsible is a member of his family. The family that lives on the same large estate they did during the disappearance and somehow manage to avoid speaking to each other. Blomkvist is promised a substantial salary in addition to evidence that will bring about the demise of the man who brought the libel suit against him. When he asks if he might employ a research assistant, Vanger’s (Plummer’s) lawyer recommends the woman who did the background check on Blomkvist before they hired him. A troubled loner with a peculiar appearance by the name of Lisbeth Salander (played by Rooney Mara).
Now I have no doubt that the books on which this film and its 2009 Swedish language predecessor were based on are better than the movie. Not because I’ve read them. In actuality, I haven’t read a book since high school. But since people who do read the books first ALWAYS say that the book is better, than it must be the case. It couldn’t possibly be an effort on their part to sound and feel superior. Putting that aside, Craig as Blomkvist was a surprisingly wise choice and Plummer, along with others, make for an intriguing, albeit despicable Vanger family. But the real star is Rooney Mara as the brilliant, beautiful, and unstable Lisbeth. Despite a few small roles in other films and guest appearances in numerous television series, Mara’s most recognized for her performance in The Social Network. That role was child’s play compared to Lisbeth. This is truly a breakout performance that, one would hope, could bring a slew of bigger roles and a long successful career.