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Lisbeth is recovering in a hospital and awaiting trial for three murders when she is released. Mikael must prove her innocence, but Lisbeth must be willing to share the details of her sordid experiences with the court.
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This English-language adaptation of the Swedish novel by Stieg Larsson follows a disgraced journalist, Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig), as he investigates the disappearance of a wealthy patriarch's niece from 40 years ago. He is aided by the pierced, tattooed, punk computer hacker named Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara). As they work together in the investigation, Blomkvist and Salander uncover immense corruption beyond anything they have ever imagined.Written by
I was really looking forward to The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo ever since I learned that David Fincher had been attached to it. Now normally I'd be angry at the fact of a foreign film being remade, having seen and loved the Swedish version of the film, but I made an exception with this one because of the cast and crew for this film. Fincher, who directed films such as Fight Club, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, and most recently The Social Network (my favorite film of 2010 and what I thought should have won over The King's Speech), has a fantastic eye for filmmaking and has always impressed me with his movies, save for Se7en which I wasn't as huge a fan of as everyone else was and even on that film I enjoyed a good bit. You throw in the writer of Schindler's List and Gangs Of New York, add actors like Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer and so many others, a score from Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (who also scored The Social Network), and base it off the best selling book by Stieg Larsson (that's right, this isn't a remake but rather a re-adaptation), it all equals out to, in my opinion, the best film of the year by far.
Now the first thing I want to say about this movie is Rooney Mara's performance. She knocks it out of the park portraying Lisbeth Salander. She captured the mystery, the strangeness, the darkness, the out-of-the- norm personality that this character had. She was absolutely fantastic and I'm gonna be shocked as hell if she does not get an Oscar nomination. And she really makes you feel for her in the darker parts of this movie, which we'll get to in a moment. And all the other performances are great as well. Daniel Craig is great as usual and there is great chemistry between him and Mara. Christopher Plummer, as little as he's in the movie, does a great job as well, in fact all the actors do. This is a really well acted movie.
Another thing that a lot of people have been talking about with this film, as it was with the book and the Swedish film, was the moments where sexual violence appears on screen. And while there are some really uncomfortable moments in the film, that's the reason why these scenes succeed. They shock you and make you want to look away. And that's good, especially when the themes of this movie as well as the source material were about this sort of thing, and the movie conveys it perfectly. And while these scenes do linger in your mind, they never distract you from the basis of this movie, which leads into my next praise for the film.
The story is really engaging. Even though I had seen the Swedish movie and knew how the story as a whole was going to play out, I was able to be really engaged in the movie and not focus on other things. It really sucks you in, and Steve Zaillian, the writer of this movie, structures the film in a way that is both similar and different to the Swedish version, therefore doing what I hoped this film would do, which was taking something that I already knew about and had watched before and made it to where it was still interesting and there were changes made to where I didn't know how it was going to turn out. And that's great.
And everything technical about this movie succeeds. The score by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross is fantastic and really sucks you into the tone of the picture. Jeff Cronenweth, who worked with Fincher on both Fight Club and The Social Network, delivers fantastic cinematography. The editing, the direction, the shots, everything about this movie succeeds, making it a near perfect film.
Now one small complaint I have about this film stems a little bit from me viewing the Swedish version, in which they reveal a little more about who Lisbeth is and one of the things she did in her past that made it so troubled. And they didn't use that here which kind of threw me off a little. However, the more I think about it, the less it becomes a concern because 1.) You can't compare the two films and 2.) there are bits and pieces shown in the films climax that shows that Lisbeth deep down does have a soul. So the movie manages to overcome that obstacle, and overall, I have nothing to say bad about it.
Overall, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is a masterful film, it's one that you should definitely check out and I'll definitely be checking it out sometime soon. It's directed, written, and acted well, and succeeds in all that it sets out to do. You feel the emotion and darkness of the film, Rooney Mara blew me away with her performance (and that body, damn), and overall it lived up to my expectations. So out of ten, I got to be honest, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is a 10. Go see this movie NOW.
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