The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

Before I acknowledged the existence of the movies of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, I started reading the trilogy.  That series of book is possibly one of the most intense reads I’ve ever experienced.  Every book is a page-turner based on the issue of hatred and abuse towards women.  It shows it in one of the most extreme ways.  With the fantastic character design in their novel of Lisbeth Salander, it builds for a very intriguing story to be transformed to the big screen.  This originally being a Swedish novel, it was adapted in Sweden first.  Its success lead to this Hollywood remake.

the girl with the dragon tattoo posterDirector: David Fincher

Cast: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Stellan Skarsgaard, Christopher Plummer

In the midst of a scandal involving a Swedish journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig), he accepts an offer by wealthy businessman Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer) to go to the countryside residence called Hedestad to investigate the disappearance and possible death of his beloved niece, Harriet 40 years ago.  As the killer still imitates the actions of his niece by sending him a gift at a certain time of year, he is determined to figure out what happened to her before he runs out of time.  As the case progresses, he requests the help of a young and very smart computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara) who appears rebellious, different and peculiar in her ways.  As the investigation thickens, they follow the clues that unfold before them one by one.

Lets start by saying that I’ve read the novel (and all three of them) and I’ve seen the Swedish movies (also all three), this one is a decent remake but it lacks a little flare to it.

the girl with the dragon tattoo tattoo mara

The most apparent lacking feature of it has to be in the unique character of Lisbeth Salander. The original featured Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander and she does such an outstanding job that it makes anyone else doing this role not as appealing.  Rooney Mara has a bit of a different style design and she’s not as strong of a character to play that role.  She does pull through and emote to the best that she can, but having seen the original, I can’t help but to compare just a little. However, if I do think about her as a standalone character, she does do a fairly outstanding job and commits to her role.  Its a difficult character to portray and she is very convincing.

937950-Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The

Daniel Craig plays the journalist Mikael Blomkvist and he does a very great portrayal.  I enjoy Daniel Craig’s acting for the most part.  He’s never particularly disappointed me in any movie.  Maybe some smaller roles perhaps, but nothing I remember off the top of my head.  He has what Mikael Blomkvist’s character is all about down and every moment of his role dragged us deeper into the story itself.

the girl with the dragon tattoo daniel craig christopher plummer

In addition, we had the supporting actors of Christopher Plummer who plays the elderly Henrik Vanger who shows the pain and frustration he’s endured over the years of not only adapting with the loss of a loved one, but also the feeling of being mocked by whoever committed this crime.  His desperation to find the truth makes us question what really happens and want to learn more about the story itself.  The second supporting actor I’d like to mention is Stellan Skarsgaard who plays Martin Vanger.  He’s the successor of the Vanger Enterprises and doesn’t particularly show up a lot in the movie but he has a very complex role to play at the same time.

the girl with the dragon tattoo mara

Other than having a pretty awesome cast in this remake, what really worked was David Fincher as the director.  The setup, the scenery, how he shot it and the lighting really adds to this movie as a whole. It gives it a captivating touch but at the same time, in many instances, he also sets it up to fully experience the brutality behind the whole concept of what the story itself was portraying: the disrespect, the degrading and abuse towards women.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is probably one of the best remakes I’ve seen ever.  Its a mesmerizing movie that brings out the brutal situation that its set to have.  It also is filmed with the brilliant David Fincher plus it has an amazing cast that does a great job at bring alive the characters in the novel.  Its definitely worth a viewing, although if you do get the chance, the original should still be the first choice 😉 BUT, this is a worthy film to watch!

23 thoughts on “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

  1. Great review 🙂
    I really liked this for a remake, they did the original justice.
    The only thing I didn’t like was its tendency to be blatant and unnecessary, like the rape scene…was there any need for him to hold up a condom and say ‘I forgot to ask, do you like anal?’…things like that need to be left to the audiences imagination imo and that’s something the Swedish films did well…little unnecessary things like that irritated me a bit. I thought they cast it well…I love Stellan Skarsgard, he’s a great actor 😀 I agree about Rooney Mara though, Rapace’s performance was a tough one to follow and she lacked her charisma.
    Definitely one of the better remakes to come out of Hollywood!

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    • Oh that part, that was a pretty stupid line. haha! Although in general, even though I knew what was coming, it wasn’t a scene I could laugh..maybe just roll my eyes a little.
      Definitely a good remake! 🙂
      Thanks Natasha!

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  2. Nice review! I thought this was pretty good but I just didn’t think it needed to exist. There’s nothing that this film did any better than the original. Still, for those who don’t like foreign films, this is a pretty good version.

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    • Thats true! My initial thought when I knew there was an American remake was that it wasn’t necessary, especially since most of the remakes aren’t all that great. But it did do a pretty awesome job this time around 🙂

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  3. Good stuff Kim. I’ll be honest, I found the book boring, and gave up as it took so long to get going. I did watch the orignal movie though, and liked it as well as this remake. Both very good 🙂

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  4. You know, Kim – I actually hated this remake. I admit it ‘s well done and shot nicely but the opening credits sequence really pissed me off and soured me for the entire thing. I should probably give it another chance.

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  5. Good review Kim. Fincher’s style makes the material tense and unrelenting, but a lot of it feels familiar, as if we’ve seen him do it all before, and is just going through the motions.

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    • David Fincher probably was the perfect director to do this though. It brings out exactly what we want. You do have a point once I think back to what he’s directed in the past. It all that similar sort of style but at least it all seems to work for the better 😉
      Thanks 🙂

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  6. I liked this film a little bit more than the original version I streamed on Netflix. I liked Craig’s portrayal a bit more in this film and it seemed more realistic in that he looks much more like someone people would want to have sex with than Mikael Nyqvist. 😉

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  7. I agree that Noomi Rapace was better, fiercer and even more vulnerable as Lizbeth. From what I’ve read, they don’t consider this a “remake”, they just did their own version of the book. Semantics. 😉 It was a pretty good version, and I did like that they didn’t relocate it to one of the northern American states in winter and I liked that they used a lot of Swedish actors and even had some of the American and English actors do a semblence of a Swedish accent. How authentic the accents were, I couldn’t judge but it gave the movie a feel that was closer to the original concept. I didn’t care for the actor that raped Lizbeth, the original one was far creepier.

    I found the first book very hard to get into and even 100 or more pages into it, I was ready to give up but was encouraged to keep on and I’m glad I did because I devoured it and the other two books.

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      • Well I think they were just trying to persuade the fans of the books and original acclaimed films otherwise and it wasn’t too bad. Will probably see the others if they do them

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  8. Pingback: My 2018 Complete Movie List: #110 – #101 – I See Movies

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