The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Reviews
The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo is the first of three episodes in an overarching story focusing on two central characters: Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig), writer for the magazine Millennium, and Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), a rude, brash but brilliant computer hacker who not only affects Mikael's life greatly but has a past that is obviously bubbling under the narrative's surface. When Mikael is sued for libel by a very influential (and rich, of course) businessman, and fails to win the case, he loses much of his credibility as a journalist, outside of having to pay a fine and go to jail. So when he's offered a hefty sum of money to help retired CEO of Vanger Industries - Henrik Vanger - with a certain problem, he jumps at the offer. So what is the task he has been hired to do? To solve the supposed murder of Harriet, Henrik's niece, who suddenly disappeared many years ago and never returned. This plunges him into a net of lies and secrets, where the list of suspects ranges over an entire family, the very family he now lives in close proximity to.
The plot is a very dense affair, and there's a lot happening at all times. As with the first one, its various complexities are translated to the screen with relative ease. In fact, it's not hard to be fully aware of what's happening at any given time, while no depth has been sacrificed in the process. Most of the thanks for that should go to Steven Zaillian, the film's screenwriter. Not only does he accurately represent the version of the tale we know already, but he puts in even more detail that seems to have been completely missing in the Swedish version. For instance, we barely even knew anything about Mikael's daughter before, but here she's not only revealed and fleshed out, but is also an important component of the story itself. The editing is also brilliant, which deftly separates the important from the pointless, making for a more compact and exciting experience.
Fincher also takes note to put his own mark on the film as with any of his previous works. He's put a lot of work into making the movie true to its original source, seeing how it happens in Sweden and all the characters have Swedish names and Swedish accents. It comes off as bizarre at first but works surprisingly well as you go along. It's a stark contrast to what could have happened if less care had been put into the transfer from one culture to the next. So we get the cold yet charming environs of Sweden interspersed with Fincher's various visual cues and emphases. Lighting, setting and colors are all strikingly apparent, creating a mesmerizing atmosphere that sucks you in and sticks in your mind. This can work both as comforting and exceptionally disturbing (as any viewer will see when about a third is over), where orange and white both serve as warm and sickly in different circumstances.
His fantastic work reflects in the great job of the cast. Daniel Craig does well as Mikael, portraying first and foremost a man that is no James Bond, no action hero that can brave gunshots and death threats. He is the first to eventually abandon any vestige of the Swedish influence, going back to just being his British self. However, in no way is he a bad choice here. Rooney Mara, however, is the shining star. Her portrayal of the menacing Lisbeth is simultaneously haunting and vulnerable, creating a character that is simply unforgettable. Her presence is all-encompassing and even though she is cold as ice almost all the way through, she retains a sort of humanity, something we can relate to. This opens up the chance to also feel sorry for her and all that she has had to go through. This is vital to not make the character too extreme and Rooney shoots and scores in one of the best character roles of 2011.
The supporting cast does a stellar job as well, with highlights being Cristopher Plummer as Henrik Vanger, Stellan Skarsgård as Martin Vanger and Yorick van Wageningen as the inexplicably disturbing Bjurman. The music is also fantastic, created by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. It's more subdued than their previous work on Social Network but it works perfectly for the gritty atmosphere and cold climate.
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is an example of how to put your own spin on a common story. The pacing is brilliant, the music is sublime, the acting outstanding (particularly Rooney Mara) and the overall narrative is translated brilliantly from what was already a superb yarn. There's not much else to be said, it's a must-see and among the year's very, very best.
Žegar Millennium žrķleikurinn (byggšur į bókum eftir Stieg Larsson) kom śt ķ bķó įriš 2009 śt um alla Skandinavķu, voru nęr allir talandi um hann į einn eša annan hįtt. Enda er žaš skiljanlegt, žar sem hiš drungalega og harkalega andrśmsloft serķunnar, ķ bland viš sterkar en raunsęjar persónur, gerši allar žrjįr aš stórkostlegri skemmtun. Žvķ įtti David Fincher, leikstjóri margra gęšamynda eins og Se7en og Social Network, grķšarlega erfitt verkefni fyrir höndum meš aš heimgera fyrstu myndina, The Girl WIth The Dragoon Tattoo, meš glęnżju leikarališi og grķšarlegum vęntingum frį kvikmyndaįhorfendum. Aš minnsta kosti var ég mjög spenntur ķ aš sjį hvaš hann myndi gera meš söguna og til allrar lukku slęr hann enn og aftur ķ gegn. Myndin gefur fyrri śtgįfunni ekkert eftir og ef eitthvaš er nęr hśn aš vera žéttari, tilfinningarķkari og eftirminnilegri, sem er sjaldgęft žegar kemur aš endurgeršum almennt.
Žetta er, eins og įšur segir, fyrsti kaflinn ķ einum samfelldum žrķleik. Ašalpersónurnar eru annars vegar Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig), sem skrifar fyrir blaš aš nafni Millennium, og hins vegar Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), harkaleg, dónaleg en brįšsnjöll "tölvuhakkari" meš dularfulla fortķš. Mikael er ķ kröggum, žar sem hann hefur veriš kęršur fyrir ęrumeišingar af grķšarlega įhrifamiklum išnjöfri. Tapar hann žvķ mįli og er lįtinn dśsa ķ fangelsi ķ 3 mįnuši įsamt žvķ aš žurfa aš lįta af hendi dįgóša fślgu fjįr fyrir hans meintu lygar. Meš feril sem er viš žaš aš enda fer hann į fund meš Henrik Vanger, fyrrverandi framkvęmdarstjóra Vanger Industries. Žaš kemur ķ ljós aš Henrik hefur stęršarinnar verkefni fyrir Mikael: fyrir nokkrum įratugum hvarf litla fręnka hans, Harriet, algjörlega sporlaust. Hans verkefni er aš nota blašamannahęfileika sķna til žess aš finna śt hvaš geršist viš hana, og žar sem Mikael hefur lķtiš annaš aš gera (og fęr vel launaš fyrir žetta torręša starf) samžykkir hann bošiš, og hefst handa viš rannsókn į mįli sem er miklu flóknara og hęttulegra en honum gat óraš fyrir.
Handritshöfundi myndarinnar, Steven Zaillian, tekst mjög vel upp meš aš halda framvindunni žéttri įn žess aš fórna til žess skiljanleika eša einlęgni. Saga Larsson er ķ raun öll um einlęgni, žaš er lķtiš veriš aš bśa til sżndarheim žar sem žaš er ein dęmigerš hetja aš "bjarga" einu fórnarlambi, heldur er žaš samvinna tveggja nęstum gagnstęšra póla sem reynist sterkara en nokkuš einstaklingsverk. Zaillian nęr fullkomlega aš mišla žessum įherslum fram į svišiš og nęr žvķ ef eitthvaš er betra en sś sęnska. Til dęmis fengum viš lķtiš aš vita um dóttur Mikael įšur fyrr, en hér birtist hśn ekki ašeins fullmótuš persóna heldur lķka sem ómissandi hluti af söguheildinni. Einnig er klippingin frįbęr, žaš er ekkert skiliš eftir sem žjónar engum tilgangi sem gerir atburšarįsina ennžį meira spennandi.
Svo mį ekki gleyma hlutverk Fincher, en hann setur eins og alltaf sitt einkunnarmerki į myndina. Mikiš hefur veriš lagt upp śr aš gera myndina trś sögu Larsson. Myndin gerist ķ Svķžjóš, persónurnar heita sęnskum nöfnum og žau tala öll meš sęnskum hreim. Žaš getur tekiš smį tķma aš venjast žessu en žegar lķšur į myndina fer žetta aš reynast betri kostur. Ķ stašinn fyrir aš reyna aš breyta sögunni óžarflega til aš heimfęra hana yfir til Bandarķkjanna notar hann menningarlegu einkenni Svķa til aš sveipa myndinni įkvešnum blę. Lżsingin og litirnir ljį umhverfinu žaš lķka, žar sem til dęmis appelsķnugulur virkar sem bęši huggandi og višbjóšslegur ķ mismunandi ašstęšum, sama meš hinn sterķla hvķtan. Žetta er bara eitt annaš dęmi um hversu snilldarlega Fincher getur ofiš saman mismunandi sjónarspilum ķ eitt, sameinaš verk.
Leikarališiš endurspeglar einnig hęfileika hans David ķ leikstjórastólnum. Daniel Craig virkar vel sem Mikael, einkum sem persóna sem er langt frį žvķ aš vera James Bond, bara hefšbundinn blašamašur sem er algjörlega óvanur žvķ aš vera ķ nokkurskonar lķfshęttu. Hann er reyndar sį fyrsti til aš hętta algjörlega meš sęnska hreiminn, farandi aftur ķ sinn flotta (en mótsagnakennda hér) breska hreim. Hann gerir sitt besta hins vegar og er langt frį žvķ aš vera vont val. Rooney Mara er hins vegar įn nokkurs vafa stjarna myndarinnar. Tślkun hennar į Lisbeth Salander er samstundis įhrifarķk og berskjölduš, og nęr hśn aš byggja upp persónu sem er algjörlega ógleymanleg. Žaš sem er mikilvęgt meš Lisbeth er aš žrįtt fyrir haršneskjulega śtlit hennar er hśn mannleg, manneskja sem hefur tilfinningar og djśprętar įstęšur fyrir aš vera eins og hśn er. Žaš gerir hana į sama tķma skiljanlega og mašur finnur til meš henni ķ erfišleikum hennar. Žaš gerir žaš aš verkum aš persónan er ekki öfgakennd heldur raunveruleg. Rooney Mara eignar sér nęstum hlutverkiš og hśn er einfaldlega ógleymanleg hér.
Ašstošarleikararnir standa sig einnig mjög vel, sérstaklega Christopher Plummer sem Henrik Vanger, Stellan Skarsgård sem Martin Vanger og Yorick van Wageningen sem hin ólżsanlega ógešslegi Bjurman. Trent Reznor og Atticus Ross koma lķka aftur til aš semja tónlist fyrir Fincher og gera žaš óašfinnanlega. Žaš er ašeins minna įberandi en virkar samt fullkomlega fyrir hiš hrjóstruga andrśmsloft myndarinnar.
Ef žś vilt sjį dęmi um hvernig skal setja nżjan svip į žaulreynda sögu, žį er The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo tilvalin mynd. Sagan og tónlistin vinna vel saman mešan leikurinn er hreint afbragš (og žį sérstaklega Rooney Mara). Lķtiš annaš žarf aš segja, myndin virkar į alla bóga og er hreint meistaraverk; sannarlega meš bestu myndum 2011.
The film, tells the story of journalist Daniel Craig who is hired by Christopher Plummer in a small, but well played role, to find out what happened to his niece Harriet when she disappeared aged sixteen forty years ago. Aided by Rooney Mara they research and research to try and find the answer to the unsolved case. It's a simple set up and plot, but the devil is in the details, and the story grows at a steady pace to an interesting climax.
Using the bestselling millennium series by Stieg Larsson, already turned into a Swedish film, Fincher brings together excellent performances from his two main cast members-Craig and Mara, who underplay their roles at all the right moments, creating a suspenseful and ever growing tense atmosphere.
The film is also blessed by some wonderful moments of cinematography, capturing the vast, snowy landscapes of Sweden, along with other close up moments such as a wonderful Lisbeth Salander riding on her motorbike.
It is these moments which stick out and lift the film above its downfalls, of which there are quite a few. The film sometimes immerses itself so far into the calm and gentle pace it is flowing at, that it dawdles, occasionally on moments of pure gut wrenching brutality. These moments, although necessary for the story, are not necessary in their full display, where Fincher does not shy from.
But the story and mystery itself, as well as the development of each of the character's arcs in a basic, but none the less interesting fashion, placed together with some real moments of excellence, gives this remake a for once good name and a most worthy adaptation of the book.
We've got a nice cold case murder mystery being solved by a disgraced journalist who enlists the help of a tattooed bi-sexual goth punk hacker chick who had previously been tasked with keeping tabs on the journalist himself. Their investigation leads to all sorts of trouble, namely from the victim's survivng family members, some of whom are very prominent industrialists, and all of them being a few degrees off.
Like with the Swedish take, the film is primarily focused on journalist Mikael Blomkvist, yet it's the titular character, better known as Lisbeth Salander, who really steals the show here. Even had this not already been made, I knew off the bat that Fincher would be an excellent choice for the material. His dark trademark style meshes perfectly with the dark and chilly material, and his take makes it somewhat more accessible for western audiences. Although, to be honest, I personally don't mind havign to read titles. Not having to at least means I can spend more time focusing on other things though, and not have to worry about missing something crucial.
I'm not sure which version I like better. The first one started slow and ended with a little brisker, and this one was the opposite: it cruised by for the first two acts (or sure seemed like it did), then really dragged out the conclusion and epilogue. It's weird too, since both films have almsot the same running time, with this one being like just 3 minutes longer. This one might not have the same cultural weight and some stuff was probably lost in translation, but it's still a pretty solid thriller. It's weird, because I think I liked the way the mystery was handled in this one better, but I still think both versions are very overrated.
Craig absolutely owns as Blomkvist though, and I liked Wright as Erika Berger, though I could have used more of here. Maybe they'll make the other two films as well? As Lisbeth, Rooney Mara was quite a revelation. I was a little unsure of her casting, and I was kinda put off by initial production photos, but, seeing her work in context in the full finished product, she definitely won me over. This is definitely going to be one of her standout roles. She's awesome, and pulls off the look well, though I'm not a fan of the bleached eyebrows or the fact that some (though not all) of her piercings are noticeably fake. She really shwos off her courage by taking on such a demanding and revealing role though, and I'm amazed they thought to give her an Oscar nod, since I wasn't figuring they'd do it.
A worthy film, though not a masterpiece. I really enjoyed it, but I feel like Fincher didn't really break any new ground here, though he sure wasn't slacking off, either.
Very interesting film! 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 Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is not only an improvement over the original but easily one of the best films of the year.
Mikael Blomkvist is a disgraced journalist who is asked by a wealthy industrialist to write a biography on his family. But what he really wants Blomkvist to do is to find out what happened to his niece, who went missing 40 years ago. Blomkvist, at first, is not interested, till the man offers to help him clear his name. Blomkvist, begins by talking to the man's relatives who were there when the girl went missing. And some of them are not forth coming. Blomkvist eventually believes that her disappearance might have something to do with some serial killings that took place 20 years before she disappeared. So he asks for a research assistant. So the industrialist's man suggests Lisbeth Salander, a talented hacker who does background checks for them and who even did one on Blomkvist. When he sees her report, he's impressed and asks her to work with him and she does. She's anti-social but is extremely efficient.
That being said, I have read the book, but have not seen the "original" Swedish 2009 film, so, while I know the plot line, I do not have the visuals to compare with.
David Fincher put his stamp on this film from the opening frames - the haunting backdrop that runs behind the opening credits. From here you have a pretty faithful following of the famous book, with just a few liberties as the two seemingly unattached stories of Lisbeth Salander (the titular "girl") and disgraced magazine editor and writer Mikael Blomkvist slowly come together.
In those two pivotal roles are Daniel Craig as Mikael and Ronney Mara as the goth/ punk cyber wizard Lisbeth. Both are fine in the roles, as are the two main supporting actors, Chrisopher Plummer and particularly Stellan Skarsgard.
I believe that what has irked many a reviewer is that the source novel isn't an easy thing to follow, and as mentioned, almost seems to be two different stories, that of Salander and that of Blomkvist. That the two do come together in a logical manner seems to be neglected by the nay sayers.
I do suppose that a story involving a 40 year old murder mystery may not be everyone's cup of aquavit (a lil Scandinavian humor there) - and the seemingly tag ending of the film (after the mystery has been revealed) seems just that - but it really does make more sense with all the background that the book provides (stuff that unfortunately just gets rushed over in this film as it focuses more on the interactions of the two characters).
Still, the film does a creditable job of making deep research interesting and giving us a truly riveting character study in Salander. I'm thinking that this character study is what will carry the day for those who haven't seen the earlier film nor read the novel - otherwise the mystery might seem a bit hard to fathom. Certainly the second (or is it third?) plot concerning Mikael's libel case (which gives the tag ending credibility), is never properly explained, making said ending, as well as several other points of the film seem unattached or superfluous.
I really don't know how to grade this film for those who are not familiar with the story as the presenation assumes a certain familiarity - but if you are familiar with the story then you will more than likely agree that this is a successful adaptation, with the pervasive etherial electronic background music provided by Trent Resner (which provides a funny inside moment, as one of Salander's friends is wearing a NIN tee shirt).
It might've possibly been a mistake on my part to jump in without seeing the original Swedish version due to the possibility of mistranslation or different artistic views conveyed via Fincher. Nevertheless, Fincher's rendition is a damn good one if you ask me. He's done a great job portraying a brooding atmosphere and a riveting narrative through the incredible cast, dynamically rich camerawork, polished cinematography, and a witty script. There's a lot of disquieting scenes crammed into this piece, but I can't help but to get a vibe that Fincher didn't care to remain faithful to the original narrative by portraying the emotional or thematic undertones as for why these scenes were even placed within the story arc in the first place. The nudity, the disturbing scenes, and many other scenes seemingly stick out, as if it didn't belong. That's all to say that this "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" is by no means a bad movie, but an unfocused motion picture... a really good unfocused motion picture.
I'm sure there's plenty of differences between the international version and the Hollywood version, but I'm sufficed to say that Fincher's rendition of "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" is a captivating, nerve-racking mysterious thriller that is sure to entertain, but doesn't earn the high talks of how great the trilogy is due to differing artistic views and a confusion towards portraying the original narrative's thematic and emotional undertones. I'm a guy that hasn't seen the international nor read any of the books, but it's apparently obvious that this is a carbon-copy of the exterior storyline, but not the soul of the original source material.
Director: David Fincher
Summary: When a young computer hacker is tasked with investigating a prying journalist, their separate missions become entangled amid a decades-old conspiracy. David Fincher directs this English adaptation of Stieg Larsson's novel.
My Thoughts: "I enjoyed the movie. But it's so hard not to compare this film to it's original. Which I liked much more. I found this film to be lacking the intensity the other film oozed with. I did enjoy Daniel Craig as Mikael Blomkvist more so then I did Michael Nyqvist. But as much as Rooney Mara did a great job in this film, there is no comparisson to the fantastic performance Noomi Rapace gave. I just loved her in the film. But it is the best performance I have seen given by Rooney Mara. I can't say much in this review that I haven't already said in the other one. So I'll stick with the performancs and directing. Great on both accounts. It's just the fact that I liked one more then I did the other. So I'll end it with that."