The last film I saw of 2011, and the first movie I’m reviewing of 2012 is the American remake of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.
As stated in my rave about The Snowman, I flew through all three books in the trilogy in 2010, and bought the blu-rays for the Swedish sight unseen, and greatly enjoyed them.
So when I heard that there was a North American remake in the offing, I got a little upset…
Are North Americans as movie-goers so biased against foreign films, and reading sub-titles that this was a necessary thing?
Of course the answer is yes, which is too bad, cause there really are some wonderful foreign films out there, wanna-be cinephiles should not confine themselves to the borders of their country or continent.
So it was with a little hopeful and nervous excitement that I finally settled in to watch this film…
And learn that I was genuinely surprised with how much I enjoyed it.
Craig plays a recently libeled journalist who is hired by Henrik Vanger (after unknowingly being vetted by Lisbeth Salander(Ronney Mara)) to solve what is basically a locked-room mystery on an island, the murder of a young woman in 1966 that had never been solved.
Through his investigation, on which he is eventually joined by Lisbeth, Mikael finds the work of a serial killer stretching back years, across all of Sweden and a family with some very dark secrets.
I was glad that they didn’t update and change the locations of the film to America, in fact, the film is as close an adaptation of the book as the original film, as well as any adaptation of a book I’ve seen.
Snow swept grounds make the dark secrets hidden underneath that much more frightening.
I also like the fact that Fincher takes his time in telling the story, they could have jumped right into the mystery, and ignored the situations that got Blomkvist actually involved in it.
This also applies to the end of the film as well, once the case is resolved, there’s still resolutions (and set-ups for the potential sequels) for both Mikael and Lisbeth.
Much like in the fist novel, and original film, Lisbeth’s past, which is important for the rest of the series is hinted at just enough to raise questions, and also serve as nice nods to those of us who have read the books.
There isn’t anything that detracted from my experience of this film and I would be hard-pressed to find something I didn’t like about it.
Yes, some of the subject matter is dark, and downright brutal, but it’s done so well.
And I was very glad to see Lisbeth Salander on the big screen. I think she’s a fantastic hero, or perhaps anti-hero. She may not work and play well with others, but she has a very clear-cut definition of right and wrong, whether it’s illegal or not. She doesn’t give her trust willingly, and if you ever wrong her, she will make sure you pay.
I do hope they have the leads signed into the sequels, as now that I have seen the unnecessary remake, I would like to see what they do with the rest of the series, especially as we begin to learn more about Lisbeth, and why she is a ward of the state at the age of 23.
While probably not for everyone, considering the subject matter, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is a perfect example of the modern mystery/thriller.