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Fincher’s “Girl” Has Highs and Lows

"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” is one of the most anticipated films of the season, and it didn’t disappoint.

David Fincher directs Daniel Craig and relative newcomer Rooney Mara in a dark and gritty murder mystery based on the first book in Stieg Larsson‘s “Millennium” series with the same name.

The movie follows out of work journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Craig) who is asked by a well-off aging business man (Christopher Plummer) to find out what happened to his niece who went missing 40 years ago. Blomkvist hires an unusual woman as his research assistant, Lisbeth Salander (Mara).

Together the pair have to solve a 40 year old mystery where everyone is a suspect.

It’s hard to review this movie without comparing it the 2009 Swedish version. I enjoyed both films and think the Fincher version is a superior movie overall, but the heart of the movie is the girl with the dragon tattoo and think the original did that character more justice.

US's Rooney Mara (left) vs. Sweden's Noomi Rapace as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Lisbeth Salander may have some issues, like her antisocial and psychotic tendencies, but in a world of Bella Swan‘s she is one of the strongest heroines in today’s literature. Her past may be a bit disturbed but that’s irrelevant, we all have baggage. She smart, powerful, and doesn’t take bullshit from anyone.

The original portrayed her as the kick-ass computer hacker she is. The American version softens her character and sexualizes her like all other US female crime fighters seem to become. And I have a big problem with the ending of Fincher’s film because it completely undermines who Salander is.

Setting this problem aside, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” is still a really well made film. The entire cast is incredible. Craig, Mara, and Plummer all turn in strong performances and Stellen Skarsgard is incredible in a creepy sort of way. Even if you know what’s going to happen the cast does a good job of making you forget what their character’s true intentions are.

Stieg Larsson’s story is a real thriller. The audience is really kept guessing while trying to figure out what happened to this girl. Plus the twist ending answer is a perfect conclusion. With a 2 hour and 40 minute runtime there’s probably a good 20 to 30 minutes that could be cut out, but it moves at a good pace so you don’t necessarily feel  all of that time.

I definitely recommend this film, but I would also recommend that you see the original as well. And I’m excited for the rest of the trilogy in the years to come.

 

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Discussion

2 thoughts on “Fincher’s “Girl” Has Highs and Lows

  1. I really agree with you about how the ending of the film leaves Lisbeth, but it’s my understanding that this is in the book (though I haven’t read it). One of my biggest problems with the film was how Fincher disn’t seem to be able to really elevate the source material… or what I imagine the source material to be.

    Posted by neil | January 18, 2012, 4:06 am

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  1. Pingback: Recensione girl with the dragon tatto david fincher lisbeth | La cultura pop in salsa lesbica - February 3, 2012

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