Comments on watching and making films.

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Stieg Larsson's international best seller, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, and the two books that followed it have all already been adapted, successfully, into Swedish films. It was a little confusing to me when David Fincher signed on to make this, because I never pictured him as the kind of director who would do an American re-make of something. He just always struck me as the kind of guy who would want full ownership of the visuals of his films, and not want them to have to be compared to a previous version of the same thing. His vision, though, as slowly revealed in various trailers, seemed to be an interesting, but somewhat straight forward, take on a film that already exists.

Dragon Tattoo focuses on Mikael Blomkvist, played by Daniel Craig. Blomkvist is a recently disgraced journalist who is hired by an elderly billionaire to solve a forty plus year old crime, the murder of his niece. Realizing that he is in, somewhat, over his head, he approaches the private investigator who dug up dirt on him during his trial, a troubled girl/cyber genius named Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara). Together, they fight to solve the crime, while various forces try to make sure they don't.

I enjoyed Dragon Tattoo. It's a really good story, and Fincher tells it on an epic scale. At, almost, three hours long, it was rare that I ever turned away from it. It felt like it was consistently moving forward, and while it may have slowed down, it never stopped. That being said, though, I feel like this was a great film, but not a great Fincher film. I feel like the name Fincher brings a certain amount of expectation with it, and there was no delivery on that. It felt like anyone could have made this film (although, I don't think anyone else could have made it quite as well).

The film can be quite graphic, at times, which is not too much of a surprise for a Fincher film, but some people may be put off by it. There are instances, though, where it felt like Lisbeth's story seemed a little overly heavy. A little research shows that Larsson was heavily influenced by witnessing a rape as a young child, though, so, it becomes a little more clear as to why the source material goes as far as it does. Perhaps Larsson was giving this girl a chance at revenge that she never had in real life.

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