Infamous journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) is publicly discredited and in the process of litigation he’s hired by aging philanthropist (Christopher Plummer) to aid in his search for his niece that’s been missing for forty years. During the process of his investigation he requests for a research assistant and is paired with loner, researcher (read: hacker) Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara).
The Swedish setting, with its endless nights, blindingly bright snow covered areas and bleak/ harsh Eastern European architecture becomes great fodder for Fincher’s lens. Fincher’s distinctly dark style, intensely affective claustrophobic spaces and dark subject matter have cultivated a rabid fan following. SE7EN, Fight Club and The Social Network represent his best filmic feats and there is stylistic continuity between these great efforts and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The dream pairing of Reznor and Ross from the Academy award-winning score of The Social Network is back for Girl. The mesh and contrast of the metallic and the organic in the electronic sphere amplify the emotional trajectory of each scene.
Mara’s a more human Lisbeth than Rapace’s original; you get glimpses of warmth through the facade of physical and emotional roadblocks she’s had to erect out of a life of abuse. Mara’s layered, immersive performance makes this iconic role her own despite the proximity of the Swedish Girl - she’s pretty mesmerising. I much preferred Craig’s interpretation of Blomkvist than the original portrayal from Michael Nykvist in the Swedish version of 2009. Craig is likeable, relatable and has the range to enunciate vulnerability.
Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is more enjoyable on a repeat viewing. My biggest regret is that I’d seen the original and was familiar with the story because it took the punch out of the major plot points/twists.
P.S Great Marketing
Blake Howard - follow Blake on Twitter here: @blakeisbatman
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is out now on DVD – Special Features include an insightful and candid DVD Commentary by Director David Fincher.
Directed by: David Fincher
Written by: Steven Zaillian (screenplay), Stieg Larsson (novel)
Starring: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara and Christopher Plummer