Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was something that I had to do before I was going to go see the film. Lets just say my love of movies overcame my passing desire to read a novel (though it is still on my desk). David Fincher directed the most recent theatrical adaptation of Stieg Larsson's novel and let me say it is much closer to his work on Fight Club Se7en than that of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Overall I really enjoyed the film I thought that it was well acted and beautifully directed, David Fincher does not often disappoint. Daniel Craig portrays Mikael Blomkvist well (of course I have not yet read the book) but it was hard to believe him to be a Swede as he carried his Bond accent throughout the film, may just be too hard to take the 007 out of the man. His accent was quickly ignored and his role in the film as a journalist/investigator really took form. Although Fincher and Steven Zaillian (screenplay) gave Craig more of the main role in the movie he definitely was not able to steal the spotlight from the true star of the film, the dark pierced and tatted Rooney Mara (portraying Lisbeth Salander).

The character of Lisbeth Salander is a violent gritty and battered Swede and Mara played the heck out of this role. From the first time she was on screen she was captivating and as I sat watching the end credits role all that I could think about was the dark character that she was able to bring to life. She portrayed Lisbeth with grit and anyone in the theater, minus the six people that left (I will return to this), were able to see her dedication to and complete immersion in the role. The dedication is easy to see when you realize that the previously unpierced actress got at least seven piercings in order to fully delve into the role. Her character was  subtly twisted and extremely dark but this did not deter the audience from falling for her blunt and mysterious persona. Rooney Mara made the character what she was and this film is worth seeing just to witness her performance.

The story was captivating and the relationship that developed between Lisbeth and Mikael on screen seemed natural and unforced. Craig and Mara were a good pair and in my opinion two very well casted actors for their respective roles. One part of the film though did not feel natural and was not meant to feel natural.This film was my first encounter with the character and story of Lisbeth Salander and let me say that it was a very violent and uncomfortable story to watch on screen leaving me with an uneasiness in the pit of my stomach. The scenes of sexual abuse were violent and all too real for some in the audience to handle (the six mentioned earlier). I will not say that the scenes were tasteless but the actions taken in them were. These scenes shaped the movie and the mystery found in the story but visually only account for a very small portion of this 158 minute film.

Overall I would give this movie an 8.5/10 for it was amazingly acted, directed, and scored (and the story is brilliant thanks to Larsson.)

One last thing the music composition for this film by Trent Reznor was phenomenal and completely complimented what was visually presented on screen.


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