The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (USA – 2011)

I was curious to see this version of “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” having both read the book and watched the Swedish version. I was surprised to find myself enjoying this version more than I did the Swedish version.

For starters, the American film actually covers quite a bit more of the book than the Swedish film.  The other thing that surprised me is that they kept the setting in Sweden.  I would not have been at all surprised had they moved the location from Sweden to somewhere in the USA, because… well… Hollywood… you understand.  I can’t comment on their accents, but I’m sure there are those out there that can.

Daniel Craig plays the role of Mikael Blomkvist and Rooney Mara plays the role of  Lisbeth Salander.  Christopher Plummer plays Henrik Vanger, the man who hires Blomkvist to investigate the disappearance of his niece 40 years ago.  I liked the choice of cast for those three roles; although I kept confusing Rooney Mara with Noomi Rapace (Salander from the Swedish film)  Which, I guess is not a bad thing, and a credit to Rooney Mara’s portrayal of the character.

As we see Blomkvist looking into this disappearance, we’re also given the story of Lisbeth Salander, a ward of the Swedish state due to issues in her past.  Her story is probably the most…intense of the two, and with the way the film was shot, and dedication to the source material, actually caused some in the audience to walk out before the film ended!  Which was sad, because her story is not what the movie was really about, and those people missed out on the rest of the film.  Their loss.

Overall, I thought this was a better film over the Swedish version.  I really liked David Fincher’s direction and the soundtrack was spot on.  One minor thing that was changed was the ending of the book.  I like the new twist that they changed it to, but saw no reason why they had to change it.

If you’ve read the book, saw the Swedish film, enjoy a good suspense/mystery, or are a fan of David Fincher, go see this movie.  Its brutal and raw in parts, but as a whole its a fine film.  I have no doubts that they will be making the last two books in the trilogy into film.  I eagerly await them.

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