The X-Women

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) is a near masterpiece

Having not read the book or seen the original Swedish film version, I went into this with no previous knowledge and could sit back and just watch this amazing film. Didn't have any preconceived notions of what to expect and having to compare against the original version. Well I was immediately drawn into this film from the very beginning with what has to be one of the best title credit sequences ever. Whoever did this work should have won an Oscar. Just amazing  imagery that grabs hold of your senses and doesn't let go. 

Daniel Craig showing that there is more to him than just being James Bond...

The story has disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist (a solid Daniel Craig in a very good non-Bond role) being summoned by the wealthy Henrik Vanger (the still game Christopher Plummer) to investigate the disappearance of Vanger's niece, who went missing over 40 years ago. Blomkvist recruits computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (an impressive performance by Rooney Mara) to help him to research. They meet resistance from the other family members, who doesn't want the past dredge up or their secrets to come out. Which are of the shocking kind, including incest and rape. 

 Lisbeth is not your typical leading lady type character...and thank god for that!

Be warned this film is not easy to watch as there are several scenes that will have you gasping and recoiling a bit. Take for instance Lisbeth and her dealing with the executor of her recently passed guardian's will. Things get nasty and very violent between the two and Lisbeth does not shy away as she takes matters personally. The scene reaches a brutal climax that had me thinking...whoa! The direction is superb by David Fincher (Seven, Fight Club). As is the stunning cinematography, to make this one of the best looking films I have ever seen. 

Veteran actor Christopher Plummer lends a hand to Daniel Craig...

A superb supporting cast that includes Stellan Skarsgard, Joely Richardson, Robin Wright, Steven Berkoff, and Geraldine James. But the standout is Rooney Mara as Lisbeth. Now since I haven't seen the original version and Naomi Rapace's performance but I can honestly say Mara is truly amazing as Lisbeth. She's smart, physical, sexual, intriguing, and definitely has a unique persona. Lisbeth and Mikael don't meet until about an hour in the film but when they do, there is an immediate attraction. And they make quite the pair.

Lisbeth meeting Mikael for the first time...

And like I said earlier, this is not a feel good movie. But a very interesting one. And it's never boring. In fact I think it's one of the best films I have ever seen.


.:+Pearlofafrika+:. said...

Nice review! I love me so Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I will say, while I enjoyed this movie, I think the original Swedish version is ah-maze-zing. If you have Netflix, you can see it on instant queue, and they have an extended version.
Now, I do have a bias, since I watched the Swedish version first, and Noomi Rapace will always be Lisbeth Salander to me (which happens to be my favorite heroine). I think it's a good idea to watch the original movie, because it brings out nuances that I felt were a little glossed over in the US remake. Not to spoil anything, but I think the rapist in the original Swedish version is a lot less repentant and more maniacal. Although this may sound impossible, the Swedish version is a lot grittier. Plus, you get the joy of watching all three of the trilogy at once! well, over a weekend, at least. :)
Not throwing shade on Rooney Mara. She did a great job, and I'm eager to watch her version again, but definitely take the time to watch the Swedish version. I don't think you'd regret it.
Oh, and a post script, I know it has subtitles, but they linger on the screen, plus since you know the basics of the story, it won't be hard to follow! :D

diorentein said...

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