The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – 2011 Movie Review

 

by R.M King

 

First a disclaimer. Being a novelist,  I have to be honest, yes… I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to novels being made into films. I feel, like many, that a lot of nuances and details a book conveys, has a tendency to get lost in its translation during its journey to the big screen. Also recent remakes of foreign films tend to have grated on my nerves and have profoundly annoyed me as of late.

I know subtitles are an acquired taste, but they shouldn’t be an overriding excuse to remake an already good film.

On top of all of this, in general, I’m not a huge fan of Daniel Craig’s work. Admittedly, it’s petty I know, but it is what it is. So, obviously, the film The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo had a lot of strikes going against it before I even sat down…with my popcorn…which was passed to me by the way.

However, The Millennium Trilogy to date has been one of the best series of novels I have EVER read. So I had to go and see it.

Much to my complete surprise I found the film to be FLAWLESS.

Daniel Craig was AMAZING and all the accolades Rooney Mara is receiving for her excellent performance is completely justified and well earned.

The movie opens with Mikael Blomkvist, (Daniel Craig), a famed magazine co-owner and writer being successfully sued for libel and slander. With his credibility ruined and his magazine slowly being run out of business, he receives a phone call from Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer) asking him to investigate one of his family’s darkest hours.

Enter Lisbeth Salander, a computer hacker and an eccentric amateur detective. She joins the case and the two begin to unravel a dark mystery that soon endangers their lives.

 

 

As a fellow writer I’m extremely envious of Larrson’s sculpting of the character of Lisbeth Salander. I know the work that is put in to create a multi-dimensional and seemingly living, breathing realistic protagonist. Larrson has created a character so complex, and yet so utterly believable the audience is destined to love the character of Lisabeth Salander. The fact that the character thrives in four film adaptations is a testament to Larrson’s original writings. Finding a actress to fill those shoes must have been a grueling process, especially in light of Noomi Rapace’s excellent portrayals in the original Swedish/Danish films, however David Fincher and his crew hit the jackpot with the casting of Rooney Mara.

On a personal, visceral level, the movie has accomplished something only a few movies have ever done to me. I was so immersed in the  plot of the film that it made me actually forget I had already read the books! I even jumped at certain parts, and laughed at the fact I forgot it was coming. And seeing the more intense moments come to life on screen, made me squirm harder than I had vividly imagined them when I originally read the book.

In short, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is one of the best movies I’ve seen this year.

Another unique aspect of going to see this film, was that I had the opportunity to watch it with varied company. My boss, who had the opportunity to have previously read the books and my companion who had not. So I was witness to both ends of the spectrum. They both shared the same opinion.

It was the best movie they had seen all year.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo stars Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgard, Steven Berkoff, Robin Wright, Yorick Van Wageningen, and Joely Richardson. The screenplay is by Steven Zaillian and is directed by David Fincher. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was produced by Scott Rudin, Ole Sondberg, Soren Staermose and Cean Chaffin.

 

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