Tuesday, April 22

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

When I first read the novel by Stieg Larsson, I didn't know exactly what to expect. To say that the novel is surprising is an understatement. It's quite thrilling, and despite the horrible things on print, you can't pry it away from your eyes. It was weaved very well, without loopholes, managing to keep the readers at bay. It wasn't hard to imagine films coming out from the books. It was written in a way that it can be adapted, and to watch the adaptation will certainly be entertaining. Well…I've strayed away from the adaptations, primarily because the book was so great, and there were scenes that were so graphic in the novel that I didn't want to see a reenactment of it. Basically it's time to man up and see the film. 

Mikael Blomkvist is a known journalist, whose name has been ruined when he lost his case - he had accused a powerful man of stealing government money. At the depth of his ruin, he gets hired by a Henri Vanger, who gives him a mystery to solve. He thinks that someone murdered his favorite niece, Harriet, and he's paying Blomkvist to solve the mystery, even going so far to provide him information that might take his opponent down. His investigation eventually led him to the doorstep of Lisbeth Salander, a very thorough investigator who had a rough past of her own. 

When it came to the film adaptation, I think Fincher got it right. The tone and the atmosphere of the film was dark, and it looked very slick - it had a clean look to it. The script didn't venture very far from the book, but it didn't take out the momentous events that were also present in the novel (hence my initial hesitance to see it). The music worked well with the film, although there were some off moments. I think the film could have gone darker, but maybe it might just be too much. I liked the film, but I think I preferred the novel a bit more. 

Rooney Mara gave an excellent performance. I've seen two movies where she's previously credited, but this is really where she got her big break. Her performance as Salander was full-on, not skimping out on anything that makes Salander an edgy character. Mara was known for taking the method acting route by actually piercing her body parts - something that was always talked about during the promotion of the film. I did imagine her character to be older, in terms of thought and experience. Her accent could use a bit of work, as her voice changes at some scenes. I've only seen Daniel Craig in the Bond films (and most recently, in The Golden Compass, although he barely makes an appearance there) and he's always been so well put and strong in his films, that it's quite different to watch him here. His rendition of Blomvisk was vulnerable, yet he always had that thirst for knowledge. 

The duo was supported by a stellar cast, though we don't see much of them. Not that their characters weren't important, but there wasn't much interaction with them as with the duo. The horrifying scenes I was talking about earlier? It did live up to its horror, though I was waiting for Salander to finally take her revenge. Yorick van Wageningen who played Nils Bjurman was very much of a creep. 



Final Word: A great book-to-film adaptation. I wonder how the sequel's going. There doesn't seem to be much news about it.

Cast: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer
Director: David Fincher
Year: 2011

8 comments:

  1. Glad you liked Mara and Craig, I thought they were both excellent. Overall I preferred Fincher[s version over Swedish one - much better and more complex, not to mention technically done in a brilliant and elegant way.

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    1. I like how Fincher adapted this, it looked clean and elegant. Mara and Craig gave stellar performances. I really wish they'd hurry up with the sequel!

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  2. I strongly prefer this film to the Swedish one. It just has so much more atmosphere. I don't know if the second one will be made anytime soon, and I'm not sure I'd want it to be if they can't get Fincher back. He really made this film what it was.

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    1. I liked how it looked, and Fincher really did it right when it came to capturing the atmosphere. If he had gone darker, the film might not be watchable. I really hope that they're working on the sequel; I've heard that the first novel is the best among the trilogy, but I'd really love to see Craig and Mara team up again.

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  3. Nice review here. I agree that Mara seriously capitalized on this breakthrough - a full-on performance in which nothing was held back. It really did single-handedly assert her as one of the best actresses of her generation. Love her.

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    1. She was terrific in this one. Her portrayal of the role really opened a lot of doors, and I hope that she continues to get great roles like this one.

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  4. Ohhh I almost forgot about this movies, it's so great! Very atmospheric indeed, and quite disturbing at times. And Mara is so striking, I agree -- they caught her character's edginess perfectly. We need those sequels!!

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    1. I do wish they hurry things up. With the individual projects Mara and Craig have lined up, I'm starting to think that there might not be a sequel at all.

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