@lightwarrior179: I can really only comment on how she compares to the movies, since I've seen the original Swedish trilogy but not read the books from Stieg. In their essence, the film characters have some minor changes done to them (I find Rooney's Lisbeth to be more vulnerable in some areas, particularly near the end), but I can't say much other than the character works within context. I also agree with most that for the job itself, Mikael Nyqvist worked better as Blomkvist, aka as an almost painfully normal man for the most part. Still, I like the overall pacing a lot better in this version, but it's probably all dependent on what you're looking for. Either way, it really is an interesting movie.
Hey there, everyone. Hope you had a great Christmas season Anyway, here's my review of the awesome film from David Fincher based on the first book in Stieg Larsson's Millenium series. Hope you like it.
It may depend largely on where you live (more specifically, if you live in Scandinavia or not), but when the Millennium trilogy came out in theaters in 2009, it caused a major splash. With a very sombre and brutal styIe it blended the mundane and the extreme in a very effective manner. It was a fantastic example of what you can expect from Swedish film-making at its very best. Few need introduction, however, to who David Fincher is. Having made such dark and compelling masterpieces as Se7en and Social Network, few have reached his zenith of directing in the modern age of filming. So it at least intrigued me when David was recruited to direct the anglicized version of the Swedish legend. The best news of all, though, is that not only does David and his team stand up to the task with great vigilance, but actually makes a film that is independently brilliant, standing at least on par with the original film adaptation.
The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo is the first of three episodes in an overarching story focusing on two central characters: Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig), writer for the magazine Millennium, and Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), a rude, brash but brilliant computer hacker who not only affects Mikael's life greatly but has a past that is obviously bubbling under the narrative's surface. When Mikael is sued for libel by a very influential (and rich, of course) businessman, and fails to win the case, he loses much of his credibility as a journalist, outside of having to pay a fine and go to jail. So when he's offered a hefty sum of money to help retired CEO of Vanger Industries - Henrik Vanger - with a certain problem, he jumps at the offer. So what is the task he has been hired to do? To solve the supposed murder of Harriet, Henrik's niece, who suddenly disappeared many years ago and never returned. This plunges him into a net of lies and secrets, where the list of suspects ranges over an entire family, the very family he now lives in close proximity to.
The plot is a very dense affair, and there's a lot happening at all times. As with the first one, its various complexities are translated to the screen with relative ease. In fact, it's not hard to be fully aware of what's happening at any given time, while no depth has been sacrificed in the process. Most of the thanks for that should go to Steven Zaillian, the film's screenwriter. Not only does he accurately represent the version of the tale we know already, but he puts in even more detail that seems to have been completely missing in the Swedish version. For instance, we barely even knew anything about Mikael's daughter before, but here she's not only revealed and fleshed out, but is also an important component of the story itself. The editing is also brilliant, which deftly separates the important from the pointless, making for a more compact and exciting experience.
Fincher also takes note to put his own mark on the film as with any of his previous works. He's put a lot of work into making the movie true to its original source, seeing how it happens in Sweden and all the characters have Swedish names and Swedish accents. It comes off as bizarre at first but works surprisingly well as you go along. It's a stark contrast to what could have happened if less care had been put into the transfer from one culture to the next. So we get the cold yet charming environs of Sweden interspersed with Fincher's various visual cues and emphases. Lighting, setting and colors are all strikingly apparent, creating a mesmerizing atmosphere that sucks you in and sticks in your mind. This can work both as comforting and exceptionally disturbing (as any viewer will see when about a third is over), where orange and white both serve as warm and sickly in different circumstances.
His fantastic work reflects in the great job of the cast. Daniel Craig does well as Mikael, portraying first and foremost a man that is no James Bond, no action hero that can brave gunshots and death threats. He is the first to eventually abandon any vestige of the Swedish influence, going back to just being his British self. However, in no way is he a bad choice here. Rooney Mara, however, is the shining star. Her portrayal of the menacing Lisbeth is simultaneously haunting and vulnerable, creating a character that is simply unforgettable. Her presence is all-encompassing and even though she is cold as ice almost all the way through, she retains a sort of humanity, something we can relate to. This opens up the chance to also feel sorry for her and all that she has had to go through. This is vital to not make the character too extreme and Rooney shoots and scores in one of the best character roles of 2011.
The supporting cast does a stellar job as well, with highlights being Cristopher Plummer as Henrik Vanger, Stellan Skarsgård as Martin Vanger and Yorick van Wageningen as the inexplicably disturbing Bjurman. The music is also fantastic, created by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. It's more subdued than their previous work on Social Network but it works perfectly for the gritty atmosphere and cold climate.
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is an example of how to put your own spin on a common story. The pacing is brilliant, the music is sublime, the acting outstanding (particularly Rooney Mara) and the overall narrative is translated brilliantly from what was already a superb yarn. There's not much else to be said, it's a must-see and among the year's very, very best.
4 stars out of 5
Interesting. It hasn't released here so I haven't watched it yet but I'm having mixed reactions about this largely because I read a couple of articles on how Lisbeth is rather inappropriately depicted in a manner that is polar opposite of her character in books.As someone who liked the trilogy and thought the Swedish movie trilogy did a pretty decent job,I'm not quite sure what to think of Fincher's version yet. He seems to have gotten the atmosphere spot-on,and Reznor & Atticus Ross have provided another great soundtrack(I listened to it) and Mara seems like a strange but weirdly fitting choice for Lisbeth. The movie's success kinda depends almost single-handedly on her and she certainly has high standards to achieve considering Noomi Rapace was absolutely fantastic in the Swedish movies. It'll be an interesting watch that's for sure. ;) Thanks for the review though.
@biggest_loser: Thank you :) And what kind of self-help book are you looking for, though I can't say I know many either way? @kylts: Thank you. :D I haven't heard of that film, but I'll have to check it out. Always up for some quality movies.
Great review! ;) I loved both versions of the film, this was my favourite movie of 2011 but the film "I saw the Devil" just stole it by a hair :P Great review again, my friend!
Nice review! I like it when people comment on the formal qualities! Your efforts have been noted! :D Also, do you know any self-help books I can read?! :(