Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

Directed by: David Fincher
Starring: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer, Robin Wright

Mikael Bloomkvist (Daniel Craig) is a disgraced investigative journalist who has just been hired by an elderly millionaire, Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer) to investigate the dissaperance of his niece over 40 years ago. The family of the missing girl lives on an island, and remains isolated from the rest of the community. With ties to the Nazi party, the entire family (including Henrik) are all suspect. Blomkvist hires a 23 year old ward of the state and technical genius, Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara) to aid him in the investigation. Lisbeth has had more than her share of hard times in her life, starting at the age of 12 when she tied to murder her father (a plot that will play out in the rest of the series.) She has a court appointed guardian (Yorick van-Wageningen) who abuses her...another plot that will play out as the series continues. She isolates her self from any close relationships aside from one or two distant people who are hackers like herself.  Just in case you didn't read the books, or see the original "Girl" series, The Girl with the Dragon Tatttoo is the first installment of a three part series based on the novels written by Stieg Larsson.

When I first heard that there was going to be a U.S. version of the 2009 Swedish film, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, I will be the first to admit that I was more than just a little bit skeptical. I was sure that there was no way David Fincher was going to be able to pull this off. Well, I'm man enough to admit when I am wrong...with some reservations.  Both Noomi Rapace (from the original series) and Rooney Mara do a good job of portraying the haunted, dark character of Lisbeth Salander. However,  if I had to choose who was better, I would have to say that Rapace did a better job of making her character more believable. Mara seems to be a little uncomfortable and not as confident in her character of Lisbeth. On the same note, in the 2009 version, Michael Nyqvist seemed out of place in his role as Bloomqvist, where Daniel Craig is more fitting to his character; bringing his "James-Bond" appeal to the stage.  I'll also note that the Swedish language in the original version sets a better tone for a plot that actually takes place in Sweden. Having the dialogue in English (with Swedish Accents) takes away from the authenticity of the whole thing.

If you've never seen the original film, you will not notice the difference between the two. The U.S. version is just fine in its own right.  Director David Fincher sticks to the plot of the original, bringing the same suspenseful scenes tied in with his brand of fluid camera movement.

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