The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

This stylish, American adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s novel chronicles the unusual partnership of disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) and tattooed computer whiz Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara). Working together to uncover the truth behind the disappearance of a wealthy businessman’s niece nearly 40 years earlier, they find themselves thrust into a dangerous web of secrecy and deception. With Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgard, Robin Wright; David Fincher directs. 158 min. Wide

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March 26 2012 04:47 am | Tattoo Videos

3 Responses to “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”

  1. Cool Breeze Says:
    322 of 351 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    This is not a remake of an original adaptation, December 21, 2011
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    This review is from: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (DVD)

    When American filmmakers decided to put forth a second adaptation of the Swedish vampire/drama/horror film, “Let the Right One In”, a mere two years after the first one had been released in Sweden, I was pretty angry. Like many other geeks who’d seen the original adaptation of the Swedish novel, I thought that not enough time had passed(2 years)since the release of the first film, and that there was certainly no justification for the second adaptation. Additionally, the Swedish “Let the Right One In” adaptation was an unbelievably well made film(a classic in my opinion)and I believed that an attempt at an American adaptation so soon after the advent of the original film was somewhat disrespectful. “At least allow the original film to occupy its place in the horror pantheon for at least a few years before some hack director is given permission to besmirch the legacy of the first film with his/her adaptation,” is what I’d said to myself after becoming privy to the announcement of the new film.

    After initially vowing never to see the American adaptation of “Let the Right One In”, the relentless positive buzz that preceded the film’s release date led to a change of heart. Immediately after watching the American adaptation I thought “Wow. I am so glad that I decided to watch this movie.” The American adaptation was different from the Swedish adaptation in many ways. In fact, the American film had some good qualities that did not exist in the Swedish version. That said, I enjoyed both movies immensely. Each movie appealed to a distinct part of my whole personality, thereby engendering a richer experience for me. Most of the professional critics would probably agree.

    Fast forward to December 21, 2011, and the movie going public is faced with a similar phenomenon. In 2009, a Swedish adaptation of the Stieg Larson novel, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, was released to critical and box office acclaim in Sweden. It was then transferred to the United States for limited release. The film became a critical and popular hit in the United States, made a star out of actress Noomi Rapace(who did a great job as the lead) and eventually made an American idol out of the novel’s heroine, Lisbeth Salander. Again, a mere two years passes between the release of both films, and thankfully, the film’s director is no Bret Ratner. He is David Fincher, the brilliant auteur who has directed seminal films such as “Seven”, “Fight Club”, and the “Social Network”. With Fincher’s name attached to the American Adaptation, it gains instant credibility. However, lovers of the first film are still skeptical. They are afraid that the new version will not live up to the standards of the original adaptation. Well, I’m here to say that the hand wringers can rest easy. David Fincher’s version of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” is just as good, if not better, than the Swedish original.

    Many of you who are reading this review are familiar with Stieg Larson’s novel. It features a character named Lisbeth Salander, a 24 year old genius computer hacker whose life has been made very difficult because of the psychological/sexual/physical abuse that has been put upon her by male authority figures. Because of this abuse, Lisbeth comes to despise men. That is until she comes into contact with disgraced journalist, Mikael Blomkvist, with whom she teams up with to solve the 40 year old “murder” of Harriet Vagner, a relative of wealthy businessman, Henrik Vagner. As they investigate the disappearance of Harriet, Lisbeth and Mikael become involved in a sexual relationship, where upon Lisbeth develops feelings for the rakish reporter. They are able to solve the case together even as the relationship between Mikael and Lisbeth becomes complicated.

    All of the actors do well for themselves in this movie adaptation, especially actress Rooney Mara, who really gives her all as Lisbeth. Noomi Rapace was great as Lisbeth in the Swedish version of “The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo”. However, Rooney Mara’s physical and psychological interpretation of the damaged Lisbeth really grabs you. Anyone who has read the book will tell you that Rooney Mara’s Lisbeth fits more with their idealized image of Lisbeth; an emaciated, pale, sexy, and sometimes androgynous girl/woman with a really nasty streak if provoked. Rooney has already been nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance, and is predicted to get more attention during the upcoming awards season. Daniel Graig is solid as Mikael Blomkvist, and Stellen Skarsgard gives a scary, creepy performance as Martin Vanger. Oh, and special kudos to Yorick Van Waginengen, whose performance as Bjurman(Lisbeth’s abusive social worker) really makes you despise his character. You will rejoice when he receives his comeuppance in a brutal scene.

    David Fincher’s version of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” moves much quicker than the Swedish version, even though the film runs…

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  2. C. Sawin Says:
    115 of 130 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Exceptional; improves upon an already fantastic film, December 13, 2011
    By 
    C. Sawin (TX) –
    (VINE VOICE)
      
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (DVD)

    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has a rather large fan following and for good reason. The 2009 Swedish film is incredibly solid and well-acted with just the right amount of wrong. The two sequels that followed had their own uphill battles (switching directors, lower budget, etc) and weren’t necessarily bad, but just failed to capture that raw emotional tenacity the original film offered. When news of a remake began making the usual rounds, there was a fairly large uproar amongst the internet community (isn’t there always?), especially when it was announced Noomi Rapace wouldn’t be returning as Lisbeth Salander. Most American remakes aren’t directed by David Fincher though and while it isn’t vastly different in comparison to its Swedish counterpart, Fincher has at least improved upon what was already a fantastic piece of cinema.

    The opening of the film was a bit unexpected. “The Immigrant Song” cover by Trent Reznor and Karen O plays over these really fluid visuals that are a bit hard to describe. Imagine the T-1000 from Terminator 2 made of motor oil or tar instead of metal and you have a pretty good idea of what to expect. It was just very different from other film credits from the rest of the year while also being very sleek, very stylish, and very David Fincher.

    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is extremely dialogue driven, so be prepared for a lot of talking. It feels very similar to Zodiac in that sense yet more captivating. Even though I had seen the original film and knew most of the major plot points, I still found myself getting sucked into the story. Even if you hate this version of the film and your loyalty remains firmly with the Swedish film, you can probably at least agree that Fincher’s version is visually the better of the two. The cinematography is just brilliant. You’ve gotten teases in the trailers, but the coldest winter in 20 years for Sweden looks so bloody fantastic on screen; the amazing scenery, those long drives through the snow, feeling like you’re on the back of Lisbeth’s motorcycle as she roars through a tunnel, and the inner shot of a plastic bag among many other things. The film is just a joy to look at from beginning to end.

    The score is also just as brilliant as the one for The Social Network, if not slightly better. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross seem to explore territory they didn’t get to explore on The Social Network score. This one seems to feature more out of tune instruments, which is an interesting touch. The score hints at rising tension throughout the film always making you feel like there’s always something else to the story lurking around the corner waiting for the right moment to strike. It’s haunting, unnerving, and just spectacular overall.

    Noomi Rapace was an exceptional Lisbeth Salander and with that said so is Rooney Mara. Just the amount of devotion she put into the role with the piercings being genuine, bleaching her eyebrows, cutting her hair, learning how to ride a motorcycle, using a very convincing Swedish accent, coming off as being just as messed up as her appearance lets on, and being completely nude is an incredible accomplishment. It’s not out of the question to believe that a role this physical could get her nominated for best actress at the Academy Awards. The entire cast just seems like they fit their roles a bit better than they did in the Swedish film. This is one of the only performances of Daniel Craig’s I can actually say I enjoyed while Stellan Skarsgård is just wonderfully demented. Then there’s Yorick van Wageningen that’s just downright despicable as Nils Bjurman. It doesn’t seem like it’s something as simple as “oh, you’re showing favoritism towards a remake because it’s in English now.” That isn’t the case at all. Fincher’s attention to detail to the source material is practically Kubrick-like. It shows in every frame of the film.

    Fincher’s version also seems to feature a lot more of Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander being together. They have more sex and they’re featured together more on-screen in comparison to the Swedish version. It was a nice addition that made the slightly altered ending a lot more impactful. The whistling doors in Martin’s house were also amazing. I can’t recall if that was in the Swedish version or not, but it brought a smile to my face with how something so small meant so much.

    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is obviously not going to be for everybody. It relies on extremely long discussions to drive most of the two and a half hour duration of the film. In between though, it becomes difficult to watch mostly with how Nils Bjurman handles giving Lisbeth more money and her response. Lisbeth’s response will more than likely have you tiptoeing out of the theater as delicately as possible since you’ll still be feeling it. With a phenomenal cast, incredibly rich cinematography, a brilliant score, and Rooney Mara’s best performance to date, The…

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  3. Diana F. Von Behren "reneofc" Says:
    52 of 64 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars
    Why This Dragon Flies, January 2, 2012
    By 
    Diana F. Von Behren “reneofc” (Kenner, LA USA) –
    (VINE VOICE)
      
    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)
      
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (DVD)

    After viewing the fairly well-produced and well-adapted “Girl” trilogy of films (based on the Millennium novels by the late Stieg Larrson) by director Niels Arden Oplev, the question, “Why see yet another version of this same story?” (even if it is done in English, Hollywood style) may just cross one’s mind especially in a diminished economy where frugality renders duplication superfluous. However close to the perfection of the author’s vision Noomi Rapace’s performance might have been, Rooney Mara’s incarnation of Lisbeth Salander seems more nuanced; she smolders with anger and vengeance like her predecessor, but withdraws in pretty silhouettes with a psychological vulnerability that endows her with even more antisocial magnetism and hints at the underbelly personal history yet to be revealed.

    Even though easy-on-the-eyes Daniel Craig, as the intrepid journalist Mikhal Blomkvist, more than adequately portrays the likeable character with a winning, almost unconscious self-consciousness, he conciliatorily fades into the background when Mara is on the screen. As in the novel, Salander’s edgy efficiency and genius works well against a backdrop of a seemingly well-oiled society equipped with high-speed trains and technology yet rotting from within with a moral corruptness that suggests repressed aggression. Mara’s face mirrors both Lisbeth’s fierce rebellion and the forever scars she wears like a tattoo of resistant resilience.

    Director David Fincher deviates a bit from the gospel of the Larsson text–his Lisbeth admits her past openly to Blomkvist in a TMI scene that isn’t true to the sensibility of the written character. Perhaps, Fincher, worried about the reception of this English version and concerned about executing its sequels, reveals too much to accentuate Lisbeth’s misplaced sense of betrayal regarding Blomkvist’s limited yet open promiscuity. Perhaps, his perception of her desire to please Blomkvist with her openness and her body even after brutal sexual subjugation underlines her role as woman and her place despite her genius and injured sensibility. This is, after all, a novel, that in Europe tellingly goes by the Swedish title “Män som hatar kvinnor” which translates into English as “Men who hate women.” The novel’s section headings are marked with statistics regarding the percentages of women brutalized by men which, along with key instances in the plotline describing women reduced to victim status due to the sadistic and masochistic actions of their supposed caretakers or loved ones, suggest that even with the seemingly blasé attitude regarding casual sexual relationships and equality amongst the sexes, there is indeed some disturbing issue that in this culture cannot be rectified by the actions of government or authority but by taking the matter into one’s own very capable vigilante hands.

    In addition, rather than have the duo work together as in the novel to eventually reveal the initiator of a forty-year-old crime, Fincher chooses to film parallel sequences of enlightenment set to the fast-paced sound of European motorcycles and the edgy organic music of the Oscar-winning team of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. This works to cut the overall time of what could have easily been a three-hour police procedural instead of a fascinating character study of an societal outcast and her soon-to-be crusading knight errant.

    Fincher misses a key flashback scene opportunity where Lisbeth stands and watches the killer die as his car bursts into flames. Why not have his protagonist shudder with that remembrance from her own past and give the audience the thrill of mutual understanding? For those non-novel readers, why not an anticipatory frisson of what is to come in the next two installments? Maybe Fincher thought this would be a TMI moment.

    Bottom line? Director David Fincher (The Social Network) compacts Stieg Larsson’s rambling novel The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium Trilogy) into two hours and 38 minutes of intense film introducing to a mainstream English speaking audience the edgy pathology and survival of Dragon Girl–social misfit, rebel and genius, Lisbeth Salander. Be warned the film contains violent rape, the depiction of a mutilated animal and stills of misogynistic torture. The strength of Rooney Mara’s portrayal of the lead character is more than enough reason to revisit this newer version. Recommended.
    Diana Faillace Von Behren
    “reneofc”

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