By Jack Rico
‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ is a movie anticipated by many: the book fans, the Swedish version of the film fans and everyone else that has gotten curious by the buzz around the book trilogy that hooked millions. This thriller will not disappoint any of the aforementioned, many might think there was no need to make an American version of the film, but the truth is that it combined all the good elements of the original one along with the book as a guide of course to make a great remake. This version makes the book and original more eye opening by bringing the action scenes to a higher standard.
The film is based on a book by the Swedish writer Stieg Larsson, it was published back in 2005 and was quickly made into a Swedish movie in 2009. It develops the story of a financial journalist, Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) who has legal troubles and is in the verge of loosing his entire career and taking the magazine he works for Millennium down with him. A rich millionaire Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer), the kind of person he usually does his research about, decides to hire him for an unusual chore: to investigate the disappearance of his niece Harriet and odd 40 years ago. The story that develops at the same time on the screen is that of Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara); a social outcast that spends her time being the best investigator at a security firm, who uses any method she can to complete the tasks assigned to her. These two unite to make an unbeatable team that will try to solve a crime no one expects them to. This game of “Clue” gets more interesting as the film progresses.
Mara is fantastic as Lisbeth, her make up, her attitude; her whole persona is played out perfectly. Seeing Mr. Bond aka Craig in this role is quite interesting, he still is a ladies man but is way more human than Bond; it’s almost tough seeing him be so weak at times but he’s also fantastic. The images in Stockholm and the imaginary town of Hedestad are very similar to those of the original film; (despite of the fact that the filmmakers say they didn’t use the original to do this remake) although somehow they are more captivating. The film runs for 2hrs and 30mins, which gives justice to the lengthy book, but towards the end it gets so fast paced that it might be hard to follow for those not familiar with it. The sequence of the book is mainly followed except for some minor changes to the script, which are easy to adapt to. There are several scenes that are very hard to watch, so be prepared. Try to make it to see the beginning of the film; the title sequence is a treat in itself.
The Swedish film is the most watched Swedish film ever! That might not be the case in America but it will surely have high-ticket sales for a while after it comes out. If you’ve been waiting for this film since you heard they were doing an American remake of it you will surely be rewarded for the wait. Director David Fincher cooked up the perfect movie to honor the book and the writer’s memory and to keep us waiting patiently for the other 2 to follow.