Wednesday, 25 January 2012

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo: Movie Review

The Girl with Dragon Tattoo

Cast: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Robin Wright, Christopher Plummer
Director: David Fincher

So, here it is, the much hyped and awaited Americanised version of the series which first gripped our nation's readers and then our nation's cinemagoers.

Daniel Craig stars as Mikael Blomkvist, the Swedish journalist and co-owner of the Millennium magazine, who is being sued as the film begins. When the court action wipes him out financially, he ends up taking on an investigation into a death of a girl 40 years ago by the wealthy Henrik Vanger (Plummer).

As Blomkvist investigates further into the murky past of the family, he's brought into contact with computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara) who helps him with the case.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is an electrifying take on the established film - and is exceptionally true to the book.

It's hard to adapt such a bleak and phenomenally popular book and film - but Fincher's taken the bull by the horns and given it a brave, bold new life.

But a lot of the success of this film is due to Rooney Mara's portrayal of Lisbeth Salander. While many will consider Noomi Rapace's take the definitive one, Mara's outstanding in every scene she's in, capturing the spiky fragility and power of the character so incredibly well that it's hard to pick directly between the two actresses. She's rightfully been nominated for a Golden Globe for this turn - it's such a phenomenally good take that it's captivating from the moment she appears. And it seems Oscar noms are rightfully bestowed on her too.


While the majority of the cast appears to try Swedish accents, Craig is the only one of the leads to consciously avoid it; it takes a little getting used to but he's as good in the role of Blomkvist, but he's overshadowed by his co-actor.

The film is as dark as it ever was; and Fincher's reteaming with the same team who created The Social Network soundtrack is a perfect match in capturing the darkness in an electronic/ techno crossover.

Overall, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is an extremely powerful and confident start to this franchise - and while the investigation into the Vanger death does give the film a slightly slow pace at times, thanks to the stunning work from Mara (and to a lesser extent, Craig), it's a thrilling ride as it unspools on the screen.

Rating:

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