Synopsis: Mikael Blomkvist is a financial reporter determined to restore his honor after being convicted of libel. Engaged by one of Sweden's wealthiest industrialists, Henrik Vanger, to get to the bottom of the long-ago disappearance of his beloved niece, Harriet -- murdered, Vanger believes, by a member of his large family -- the journalist heads to a remote island on the frozen Swedish coast, unaware of what awaits him. At the same time, Lisbeth Salander, an unusual but ingenious investigator with Milton Security, is hired to do a background check on Blomkvist, a job that ultimately leads to her joining Mikael in his investigation of who killed Harriet Vanger. Though Lisbeth shields herself from a world that has repeatedly betrayed her, her hacking skills and single-minded focus become invaluable. While Mikael goes face-to-face with the tight-lipped Vangers, Lisbeth plies the wired shadows. They begin to trace a chain of homicides from the past into the present, forging a fragile strand of trust even as they are pulled into the most savage currents of modern crime.
Starring: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgård, Elodie Yung
Directed by: David Fincher
U.S. Rating: R

There's no doubt that David Fincher is one of my TOP favorite directors in Hollywood. Some of my all-time favorite films (Seven, Fight Club, Panic Room, The Social Network) has been directed by this talented director, whom shows he likes to get deep into those books and scripts he decides to bring to the big screen, get the bare essencial content from them, cut, adapt and edit them until he gets such amazing films from this hard work. Most of his films turned into classics and, I'm sure that his most recent one, his personal remake from Swedish international success "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" will also be added to this classics list in the future.

There are two different perspectives to review this film. We can review it from the perspective of those ones who have watched Flincher's remake "after" watching the original Swedish version or, we can also review it from the perspective of those ones who have watched Flincher's remake "before" watching the original Swedish version. I include myself in this second group: Those ones who have watched it before watching the original Swedish one, and that's the perspective I'll take.

Before I start writing my personal point of view and impressions of this film, I must say that I really wanted to go through other reviews from some of the most important Movie Blogs on the net. There were some who shared my personal point of view and thoughts about it, while there were some others critizing Fincher's work and the lead cast's performance. From my personal point of view, I should start saying that I prefer Flincher's film over Oplev's. Note that I'm not saying that Oplev's original version was bad... far from it! It was an amazing and remarkable film! But we can clearly notice the huge directorial differences and styles. In this order of ideas, I must say I definitely liked Flincher's work and film style.

I was wowed with Flincher's version for "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo". The cast gathered for this film was fantastic. There wasn't a better actor to perform the lead role (Mikael Blomkvist) than Daniel Craig. He delivered such a unique performance, even though, it couldn't be considered better than actor Michael Nyqvist's performace in the Swedish version, since Nyqvist was incredibly good too. Now, I have found some controversies on some reviews about Noomi Rapace and Rooney Mara's performances as Lisbeth Salander, a disturbing gothic, anti-social punk investigator/hacker type who lives paycheck to paycheck at the mercy of her weirdo state guardian. Some important reviewers and blogs believe that Rapace's performance was much better than Mara's. I DO not believe that, no matter how incredibly good was Noomi Rapace's performance, Rooney Mara's performace blew me away. Her physical gothic/punk anti-social appearance and look was so, but so much believable than Rapace. Both acting performaces were superb, but Rooney Mara did top her performance on those specific moments when she had to show her punk & anti-social behavior and fictional personality.

While Oplev's original Swedish version was extremely detailed and led by the book, Flincher gave the film a more "theatrical" appeal, printing his personal style and experienced touch. We can easily notice some differences, even though, Flincher kept intact the story and focused just on some important and crucial details, as well as timing perfectly well some relevant events, even when he omitts some not so important events and situations shown on the Swedish version that could be taken as relevant. Flincher's version is 10 minutes longer than the original film, taking it to 2 hours and 40 minutes.

In case you haven't read the book or watched the Swedish film, here's the (short) plot of the film:

Mikael Blomkvist, the co-owner and writer of Millennium magazine, has just lost a libel case against crooked businessman Hans-Erik Wennerström, for which he must pay 600,000 Swedish kronor (approximately 87,000 USD) in damages. Meanwhile, Lisbeth Salander, a researcher for Milton Security and a computer hacker, has compiled a very extensive background check on Blomkvist for Henrik Vanger, retired CEO of Vanger Industries, for a job that Henrik wants him to perform. Despite the recent scandal, Salander passes Blomkvist as "clean."

Blomkvist receives a phone call from Henrik's lawyer, Dirch Frode, who offers him two jobs: to write a Vanger family history, and, using the information provided by Henrik for the memoir, to solve the murder of his niece Harriet Vanger, who disappeared almost 40 years previously; Henrik is convinced that someone in the family killed her.

Blomkvist gets to work right away, staying in a cottage that Henrik provides. He immediately starts investigating the case, collecting some more relevant information about the misterious disappearance of Harriet. He will meet with some members of the Vanger family. Blomkvist finds Harriet's notebook, containing the names of five women with a 5-digit number next to each of their names, secret codes related with some biblical passages showing the killing method used to murder a number of young women over 35 years ago.

Blomkvist begins looking for a researcher to help him find out more about the Bible verses. Frode recommends Salander, whom Blomkvist learns did the background check on him. Upon seeing the incredibly detailed report, he discovers Salander hacked into his computer. He then visits her apartment, making her an offer to help him find Harriet's murderer, to which she agrees.

Soon they will start working together tying all those loosed knots regarding Harriet's disappearance, until they will discover something extremely sordid that might be directly related with Harriet's event.

Definitely, one of the best (if not the best!) thriller films of 2011. The direction was brilliant, the acting performance by ALL cast involved in this film was simply superb. TOTALLY recommended.

I would rate this movie with a huge massive 5/5

In case you haven't watched the original Swedish version, here's the official trailer:

Have you watched the film? What did you like or dislike from this movie? What would you rate this movie? Share with us your thoughts!

Enjoy it!... Watch it!

1 Responses to Movie Review: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

  1. LOVE this movie! Whoa! So glad we went!! It was much more graphic than I wanted. I'd not read the book. But, Daniel Craig was brilliant as usual. Such a good movie and I'm looking forward to the next ones. It was amazing.


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