The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Directed by: David Fincher
Starring: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, and Christopher Plummer
Since the film was announced it has suffered from vast amounts of controversy from critics and fans of the original film series. The controversy involves the teaser poster, which includes a shot of Rooney Mara topless, the rape scene, and the fact that people believed that Hollywood was in it to cash in on a popular book series.In my opinion, the film surpassed the original, I’m not saying I didn’t like it I just prefer the new one. David Fincher’s keen eye for detail and his ability to create dark stories in an atmospheric surroundings, which made the movie as good as it is. With Se7en and Zodiac, which are very similar to the plot of the movie, he was the perfect director for the job of bringing the story to life.
Harriet Vanger, nephew of one of Sweden’s wealthiest families, disappeared over forty years ago. After all those years Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer) continues the investigation. With the help of Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig), a journalist who currently got tried for libel against another wealthy but corrupt business men. He soon seeks the aid of Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), a tattooed and pierced prodigy. Together they tap into vein iniquity and corruption within the Vanger family.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is an interesting film, to say the least. It is very similar to both the book and the Swedish movie but still it is different in some ways, though it may not seem that way on or that it is essentially the same movie done again. The biggest difference for me was the main performances for Rooney Mara compared to Noomi Repace. Noomi Repace made the character a tough, not to messed with woman, that has a checked past but is unwilling to share those events with anyone, to me she didn’t seem like someone that would get victimized by men her entire life. She was the first to inherit the role of Lisbeth Salander. Rooney Mara was cast by Fincher, instead of casting a big name actresses, which was the right decision. She portrayed Lisbeth with an extremely intense yet very vulnerable character that can be menacing but still have a soft spot, which is shown when she begins the relationship with Mikael Blomkvist. At first I didn’t think that Rooney Mara could handle such a demanding role while trying to impress fans with her interpretation of Lisbeth Salander. It seems that I was not the only person to be impressed by her performance, she is currently nominated for Best Actress at the Academy Awards, even though I don’t think she will win it though.
I read the novels and I’ve seen both movie incarnations of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I honestly felt that David Fincher’s interpretation of this novel to be much stronger that the first. I really don’t wanna sound bias but I have always been a fan of David Fincher’s work (even Alien 3, which had it’s shortcomings but that was not entirely his fault). I did enjoy the original but I found myself enjoying this version better. I just found the original was lacking in both atmosphere and a better handling of the source material, though both films takes liberty from the original novel. I am not going to go into all the detail but the most noticeable thing from both movies are the endings.
Both endings for the movies are very similar to the books but there are difference in both of the films. (Spoilers ahead) The swedish version contains the original discovery of Harriet Vanger but changed the ending of the falling out between Lisbeth and Mikael and how that links to the second novel. The remake changed how Mikael discovered Harriet’s identity but kept true to Lisbeth feeling betrayed by Mikael in the end. I feel that the remake was better because it made Harriet’s identity to be more clever because she was right under the families nose the entire time without them realizing it. She could have stayed close to the family while never really disappearing. The true ending with Lisbeth throwing away the gift the was meant for Mikael was much more emotionally resonating. It shows just how much the character of Lisbeth has changed though the source of the movie and bonding with him was rather unorthodox because that has never been what she has done, she has always had problem trusting men in her life. She felt betrayed by Mikael and him continuing the relationship with Erika Berger and she realized that she made a mistake falling in love with Mikael in the first place.
All in all it is a very well done film. The film is dark and brooding, which is done to perfection by David Fincher, I feel that he was the right decision for the director. The acting is top notch featuring a truly dedicated performance by Rooney Mara and a rather great performance by Daniel Craig, I was actually surprised by his performance. The cinematography and soundtrack, scored by Trent Reznor and Artticus Ross, add depth and suspense to a movie that thrived on it. It is a movie worth watching but also disturbing and difficult to watch at times. The only downside is that the last 30 minutes the movie did wander a bit but that was how the book was and was extremely necessary to close up lose ends and continue the story for the next two installments.
It is a movie that is great to see but if you have problems watching certain scene involving rape, but that is what the story is about, but despite those qualities it is an immense thriller that is enthralling movie that doesn’t seem like 2 hours and 40 minutes long.
9.5 out of 10