Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

Directed by David Fincher

Written by Steven Zaillian

Based on the novel "Män som hatar kvinnor" by Stieg Larsson

Stars: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgård, Steven Berkoff, Robin Wright,Yorick van Wageningen, Joely Richardson, Geraldine James, Goran Visnjic, Donald Sumpter and Ulf Friberg

This movie was my most anticipated ones that I wanted to see last year, but I had lockout on watching movies last year. I was listening to a podcast and I was compelled with the movie. I did watch the original Swedish movie and reviewed it. The biggest problem I had with that movie was that I thought the pacing in the first half of the movie made it almost unwatchable. This has the opposite reaction.

The film is split between parallel narratives. There is one with Mikael Blomkvist (Craig), a journalist was convicted on libel for publishing a false story about Hans-Erik Wennerström (Friberg). He has to take a leave of absence from his post at Millennium Magazine leaving his sometimes lover, Erika Berger (Wright) in charge. He is summoned by Henrik Vanger (Plummer) to find out who killed his beloved niece, Harriet forty years earlier.

Little does Mikael know, that he was investigated himself by world class hacker, Lisbeth Salander (Mara) who was summoned by Henrik's lawyer, Dirch Frode (Berkoff). Lisbeth is a ward of the state since she was twelve because of a incident that happened when she was twelve. Eventually, the story lines intersect as the two delve into the Vanger mystery.

I have read the English translation of the book and I know that screenwriter Steven Zailian had to cut subplots that were not integral to the main story. I found that like the pacing of this movie better than the original. I was engaged in the mystery even though I knew what was going to happen. A big part of that was the fitting score of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. The cinematography was truly extraordinary by Jeff Cronenweth. I'm glad that Fincher did not shy away from the brutality that happened in the book.

The film was nominated for five Oscars including Rooney Mara for Best Actress. I thought that Lisbeth was a meaty part of any woman. There is so much for Mara to do here. I was rooting for her when Lisbeth's case worker, Nils Bjurman (van Wageningen) gets his comeuppance. The only thing I did like was the ending shot of the movie. If you have seen the movie, you know what I'm talking about. I mean, really?

I was not bored with the movie. The movie is almost two and half hours long. I was not checking my watch. I was engaged with the narrative.

My Rating


  1. Fincher's adaptation of the material was very good, and Rooney Mara put in a wonderful performace as Lisbeth, but I still prefer the Sweedish version.(Mainly because Noomi Rapace was more bad ass in that version) I understand why some people would have an issue with the pacing, but it wasn't an issue for me. I am still curious to check out the other movies in the series once they are released. Nice Review

    1. Don't get me wrong, Noomi Rapace was excellent in the film. You kinda feel bad for the male lead that Mikael is an uninteresting character to play.

      I heard The Film Cynics in their heyday said that the second movie is not good and the third is on the same level the first.