Awards Season Feature Post

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Apr 30, 2012


                  Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgard, Robin Wright, Steven Berkoff, Geraldine James, Yorick van Wageningen, Joely Richardson, Goran Visnjic, Donald Sumpter, Embeth Davidtz, Joel Kinnaman, Elodie Yung, Tony Way, Alan Dale, Julian Sands, David Dencik, Fredrik Dolk, Gustaf Hammarsten and Matthew Wolf.

Directed By:
                         David Fincher.

                So finally got some time to review a movie that i saw months ago. Based on the worldwide popular Swedish Novel of the same name by Stieg Larsson this is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo directed by the wonderful David Fincher. Now i respect Fincher as a filmmaker a lot and i always love his work and feel that he is very honest with what he do. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was first made into a movie in Sweden which again got a worldwide fame and praise. I saw it too and thought it was one of the best thrillers of all time and still say it. For Fincher to direct a movie like this, i would say for him it was slightly unnecessary and too soon. I wont have said to other directors if studio felt need to remake it in English but for someone like Fincher, this was a risk that okay took off but still didn't felt quite good to me. David Fincher is strikingly original, convincing and masterclass when it comes to visual storytelling and unique visual setup of the movies. I haven't got a chance to see Zodiac but this movie in some ways reminds me of Zodiac's visuals and Seven's pacing. You see more of Fincher in this movie which is not a bad thing but still a bit of conflict in my mind since i saw the original. I think the original movie was suppose to be that and i don't think i should expect a exact replica of that when they remake it, i mean than what is the point? He did something different here still with some flaws here and there.

              So the story is about Mikael Blomkvist played by Daniel Craig who is the co-owner and writer of Millennium magazine just lost his case against the very crooked Hans-Erik Wennerstrom who is a businessman. Mikael uncovers his corrupt activities but can't prove much thanks to Hans-Erik's sources and tactics. On the other hand, Lisbeth Salander is a researcher, hacker and freelance played by Rooney Mara just compiled a detail background check on Mikael for Milton Security. The retired CEO of Vanger Industries Henrik Vanger played by Christopher Plummer wants him to secretly investigate the missing case of his niece in which one of his family member might be involved and she probably is dead. From there he meets Henrik and they discuss about everything, on the other hand Lisbeth's guardian just suffered a stroke so she got a new one who seizes control of her finances. Mikael starts his investigation while staying at the cottage provided to him by Henrik, he starts meeting everyone and draws this family tree where he puts all the input. Lisbeth is going through her own problems and Mikael can be stepping into one, they finally meet and start working on the case together.

               I had really high hopes with this movie and it didn't disappointed me overall but still i wasn't satisfied with it on the whole. Loved the whole atmospheric setting of the movie which really is Fincher's key style and that part truly acts like another character in the movie. Stunning cinematography i mean brilliant and this was something that kind of lacked in the original movie but Fincher as usual brought his own unique artistic approach to it. The scene where Mikael goes to meet Henrik for the first time, the way camera slowly moves towards the castle like big estate of Henrik and the heavy snow and the eerie atmosphere just adds a lot to the mystery. The whole place feels so much isolated from the rest of the world and helps in the story a lot where we don't know which family or person did the crime and everyone seems to be hiding something and keeping the secrets just like snow have covered each and every bit of the land. Stunning work in other technical departments too like sound, art direction and a brilliant slow burning score. Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall edited this movie, the same duo was behind what i call is one of the best edited movies ever made in the world The Social Network. Here the result was a slightly flawed work but i nevertheless like it. The way we see both Mikael and Lisbeth working in different places and clean cut shifts between them is just superb. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo opens with a mind blowing, thrilling, loud and intense opening credits with digitally done graphics and everything that shows Lisbeth and Mikael and many other things. That kind of a opening sets the tone for the movie with much greatness you start expecting, that is brilliant.

                As far as the Screenplay is concerned, perfect adaptation of the book. Steven Zaillian did a superb job and literally nailed it, he knowing the style of Fincher gave it a immensely haunting, slow burning and quite mysterious which is what lacked from the original which was more of a simple thriller with complex situations, instead its complex characters with atmospheric setting that adds a lot. I wasn't quite sure if Rooney Mara was up for a movie like this, she had a great responsibility in her shoulders for keeping up to the requirements and i must tell you, she blew me away. In terms of the attitude, the kind of gestures or looks, the way she talks, Rooney was so into the character. Amazing performance by this newcomer and yes i prefer her over Noomi in many ways. Her weird silence that holds a lot of loudness is truly hypnotic that draws you into her character much more that anyone did ever. On the hand Daniel Craig is the perfect American version of Mikael Blomkovist and really gave a sincere performance. Captivating and electrifying movie.

Grade: B+