Missing

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Tattooed Morality

If only Miss Marple had been a bisexual biker with multiple piercings and a criminal record like the heroine in Stieg Larsson’s bestselling novel “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” muses The New Yorker’s Anthony Lane. “Those are the accoutrements with which Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) is decked out in film, and they stand her in good stead for the unpicking of clues. Lisbeth has a gift for computer hacking, plus an ability to trawl briskly through printed files, and I found it endearing that, even as the movie tries to rough us up with tales of fascists, dildos, woodland snipers, and exploding cars, the main lesson that we come away with is: there’s nothing like a day in the archives. Lisbeth is one of a pair of sleuths. Her partner is Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist), a journalist with Millennium magazine, in Stockholm, who is hired by an aging industrialist named Henrik Vanger (Sven-Bertil Taube) to investigate a vanishing. Forty years ago, his niece Harriet went missing from the island where he lives, during a meeting of the Vanger clan. (The bridge connecting them to the mainland was, of course, closed that day: a variant on the old standby of the locked room.) Henrik believes that she was murdered, and he suspects every member of his scowling family. At one point, the surviving relatives even gather in a drawing room, with Blomkvist present, and for a few minutes we are indeed back in the hermetic world of Agatha Christie. Is this film really as murky and modern as it thinks it is?”
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