David Fincher's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"

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David Fincher's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"

Post by Deviss on Wed Dec 12, 2012 9:30 pm

Deviss wrote:"You will be investigating thieves, misers, bullies. The most detestable collection of people that you will ever meet - my family."

  • Story: Five Stars
  • Acting: Five Stars
  • Directing: Four and a half Stars
  • Visuals: Four and a half Stars
  • Overall: Four and a half Stars

It's been almost a full year since I last saw "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo". I still remember seeing it as an early birthday present to myself, even though it was a month until my actual birthday. I also remember leaving the theater afterwards, driving to a local WalMart and buying a pocket journal, similar to the one Daniel Craig's character used. It wasn't featured very prominently, just a little thing I noticed. The most notable thing I still remember, especially now having just finished rewatching this movie, was how unprepared I was for what I would see.

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This English-language adaptation of the well-known Swedish novel by Stieg Larsson introduces us to Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig), a disgraced journalist for Millennium magazine, having just been successfully sued for libel by a wealthy industrialist as well as computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara). A short time later, Mikael is contacted by Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer) and is asked to try and discover what might have happened to Henrik's grandniece Harriet nearly forty years ago. Under the façade of writing the Vanger family history, Mikael soon enlists Salander to aid him in his search. However, it isn't long until the pair learns a dark, generational family secret.

The night I sat down in my local theater to watch this for the first time, I was aware that this movie was based on a novel and had, in a way, already been made. In 2009 Niels Arden Oplev had directed the Swedish adaptation of Larsson's first novel of a trilogy, but to this day I haven't had the experience of reading any of the novels nor seeing the Swedish adaptations. And while I hope director David Fincher will someday return to direct the subsequent novel adaptations, there isn't ever a guarantee of things like that happening these days. But, all of that doesn't detract from what "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" has to offer.

It's no secret that I am a Daniel Craig fan, just read any of the three reviews I've previously done for his three outings as James Bond. His casting in this movie was the primary reason I was interested in seeing it, but after watching the near-three-minute trailer, I was very intrigued as to what "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" was really about. At the time of seeing that trailer, I had next to no knowledge of the first novel's plot, so I went in completely blank. In hindsight, part of me wishes that I would have read the first novel so as to have a general idea of what to have expected, but another part of me is glad that I didn't.

This movie is a fantastic Mystery/Thriller; even with one of the most disturbing and unsettling scenes I've ever seen. Or perhaps "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" is as good as it is because of that particular scene. If you've seen this movie, or have read past reviews on it, then you should know what scene I'm referring to. Even though it was nearly a year ago, I still vividly remember how uncomfortable I was when I first saw the scene in question. As it played out before me I even contemplated walking out of the theater. One couple did just that. I'm unsure if they came back afterwards however because by that point I was completely engrossed in what would happen next.

My hat has been off to Rooney Mara for her performance as Lisbeth ever since my first viewing of this movie. I doubt any of the current actresses in Hollywood today would be able to deliver a performance on the same level that she did. That particular scene in fact, is there any other actress that would've been able to handle such an experience? Or been able to deliver the level of emotion she did? If there are any, please let me know. If you weren't as bothered by that scene as I was, or if you were able to sit through it like I was, then you know how good it felt to see Lisbeth exact her retribution.

Daniel Craig was also engaging in his performance as the disgraced journalist turned investigator. Having recently gotten back into writing, I was able to relate, to a degree, with what the character of Mikael was going through. Thankfully I haven't been sued for libel, but I haven't ever written for a magazine as of yet. There is one particular thing that I especially enjoyed in his performance; not once did I get a James Bond vibe from him. With Craig having the success that he's had as the martini-drinking, Aston Martin-driving secret agent, it stands to worry that he could become pigeonholed as the Action star. If ever there was a worry that that could happen, his performance here should alleviate those concerns.

Christoper Plummer and Stellan Skarsgård were both fairly interesting in their respective roles. In his role as Henrik, Plummer was both endearing and appropriately vague while Skarsgård was, for a time, just plain mysterious. I've only seen him in a handful of other movies, but whenever the camera focuses in on him in this movie, there is a certain expression in his eyes that draws you in but also pushes you away. I have yet to feel anything like that with another actor or actress.

Everything else, from the scenery to the soundtrack (which I'm listening to as I type this out, of course) was well done. There were a couple of scenes however that could've been trimmed down because they dragged for a moment or two. But those minor complaints are just that, minor. They're nowhere near the level that would result in my stopping the movie before it's finished.

As a whole "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" is an intense, bizarre, gripping, and titillating package wrapped together by David Fincher's great directing. If you haven't seen it yet, I would certainly recommend that you do.

This was a review by tMG. Thank you for the read.

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Re: David Fincher's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"

Post by foxrock66(Roadkill) on Wed Dec 12, 2012 9:40 pm

The original is way better

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Re: David Fincher's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"

Post by Deviss on Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:05 pm

Have you seen both, or just the original?

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Re: David Fincher's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"

Post by Tempest on Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:11 pm

I like the girl in the originals, but Daniel Craig all day long, Foxy.
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Re: David Fincher's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"

Post by frang on Thu Dec 13, 2012 11:44 pm

You know I'm going to say this.......so I'll say it......the books are better.

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Re: David Fincher's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"

Post by Denjie on Mon Apr 01, 2013 7:01 pm

Watched 'em both. I'm with Fox, original is way better.

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Re: David Fincher's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"

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