I seem to be one of the few people I know who likes this movie >_>. And I wasn’t coming into this film in the best of spirits. First off, War Horse was very long so I was kind of tired and I was extremely annoyed at the amount of disruptions during that film; so by all accounts if The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was boring or not good, I would have completely lost interest, but I didn’t. I was hooked into everything right from the start and didn’t lose interest once during the 2 hour and 38 minute runtime.
I’ve seen the 2009 Swedish adaptation and while the plot points are similar, I think that Fincher adds just enough to make this his own. First off the acting is phenomenal, Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara are fantastic as the leads, and, secondly, Fincher is as meticulous a director as they come and the way the film is pieced together is a work of art.
Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara are just infinitely watchable leads. Craig does a great job as Mikael Blomkvist, but this is clearly the Rooney Mara show because she OWNS every second of screen time that she gets as Lisbeth Salander. There is a reason this trilogy of books has become one of the most popular books in recent years and Lisbeth Salander is it. She is just such a fascinating antihero; An enigma that you want to find out more about and Mara plays it perfectly. She is a world of contradictions: intimidating but soft hearted, cold but affectionate, indifferent but caring; Lisbeth is one of the most interesting characters ever created.
A big reason this film works despite using the exact same story adapted just a few years ago is David Fincher. Fincher is known as a perfectionist, sometimes he’ll do up to 80 takes of a scene in order to get it 100% PERFECT. Some may criticize him for this approach, but Fincher is a director who knows EXACTLY what he wants and that always comes through in his films. When you watch a scene, everything feels like it was done with careful thought and purpose. The way Fincher puts this film together keeps you interested in everything going on and keeps the film moving at a swift pace. He showed this skill in Seven, but Fincher has a knack for making what should be boring - like say… gathering clues by looking through books - extremely exciting.
A lot of the problems of the film are due to the fact that the book itself has similar problems with structure and plot mechanics. This film streamlines some of the side relationships which helps a lot, but it also doesn’t tie the main relationships together strongly enough. As with the Swedish adaptation, I don’t think they ever fully establish just how much Harriet’s disappearance tore at Henrik’s soul. There’s maybe a scene or two, but Henrik vanishes for a good 90-100 minutes in the middle to focus on the investigation. I also found it odd that a few huge discoveries that break open the case in the book and the Swedish version become minor plot points in this one.
I do wish that there was a little more attention to detail on the villains of this film. The book does a great job of building up those characters by showing us how they came to be, whereas in the movie it seems like they’re just crazy demented motherfuckers who are sick in the head. Even in the Swedish movie they had one scene where they discussed the psychology behind these kind of people. Disappointing that they didn’t delve into that in this film.
David Fincher’s adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is an engrossing film that draws you into the mystery of the disappearance of a young girl. While there are some flaws with the plot mechanics of the film, the superb performances and stellar direction propel the story. I will say that if you have no idea what The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is, this movie is not for the faint of heart and it keeps up the tension throughout the film. If you’re looking for a great thriller over this winter break, give The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo a shot.
Just a few details I want to get into to that contains spoilers. So don’t click on “read more” unless you’ve seen the movie and read the book!Read more
Just realized Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol and Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows are tangentially related. MI4 had Michael Nyqvist and Sherlock Holmes 2 had Noomi Rapace, both of whom were in the Swedish adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. That AND David Fincher’s American adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo comes out this week as well. Weird…
I came to this part a little over halfway through the book, “… he came to the conclusion that the car was a Ford Anglia, a model that he had never heard of before.”
And I thought to myself, “Well OBVIOUSLY Mikael Blomkvist has never read Harry Potter before.” LOL
OFFICIAL GREEN BAND TRAILER FOR DAVID FINCHER’S THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO!!!
No nude Rooney Mara (only from the back) or bloody Daniel Craig, but for the most part a similarly cut trailer as the red band one. I’ve heard everyone talk about this series of books but now I KNOW I need to read them before this film comes out at the end of the year. David Fincher and Daniel Craig, doesn’t that combination just sound like it’s made of win?
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo red band trailer! Watch it now before they take it down!
David Fincher you brilliant son of a bitch, you’ve done it AGAIN! Trent Reznor killing it AGAIN on the soundtrack, this movie looks fucking AMAZING! Fincher wants his fucking Oscar hahaha.