The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a stylish thriller and a remake directed by David Fincher and adapted from the Swedish novel by Stieg Larsson. The film stars Daniel Craig [Casino Royale, Cowboys and Aliens] as Mikael Blomvist, a journalist who is called upon to solve a murder mystery that involved a 16 year old girl who had been missing for 30 years. He enlists the help of assistant and researcher Lisbeth Salander [Rooney Mara- The Social Network] to help him solve the case and both find they are in way over the heads.
Having not seen the Swedish original films I was really looking forward to this remake by David Fincher who is one of the best directors to date as he has created such classics such as Fight Club and the most recent film, “The Social” Network that swept numerous awards at both The Bafta’s and the Oscars. Here he has pulled off an absorbing and engrossing thriller that keeps you guessing and on the edge of your seat from start to finish.
The films main success is its excellent direction and cinematography by Jeff Cronenweth as there is a great opening credits sequence that is skilful and stylish and which plays out like the start of a James Bond film. The shots are excellent are ones in which linger and stay with you after the film is over as it creates some visually compelling moments that are atmospheric and Fincher relies on the mood and the setting to create the tension.
The other film’s main highlights are the flawless performances, particularly with newcomer Rooney Mara, who is excellent as hacker/research assistant Lisbeth Salander. The film will undoubtedly give her career the kick start it needs and her performance is sure to be noticed as she definitely deserves an award come Oscar night. Her costume is superb and the style and presence of the character is effective every time she is on screen.
Daniel Craig also impresses as journalist Mikael Blomvist as it is arguably his most challenging role to date and he brings intensity and vulnerability to the part. The film’s best scenes are shared by Blomvist and Salander who both have great chemistry and even offer comic moments which is much needed around the films dark core.
The films also stars a great supporting cast that includes [Christopher Plummer- Inside Man], [Stellan Skarsgard- Angels and Demons, Pirates of the Carribbean: Dead Man’s Chest] and Robin Wright [Breaking and Entering] who all turn out great performances all round and are what makes the film gel together nicely.
The film has its fair amount of graphic violence shock factor and you realize why it was classified with an 18 certificate as it contains an explicit rape scene that viewers will find uncomfortable and will put off most people. The other is the film’s daunting running time of 2hours 40 minutes, but if you can get past the violence, The girl with the Dragon Tattoo is an absorbing an intelligent thriller.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is an intelligent, thought provoking, dark thriller that contains excellent performances and great direction. Don’t go to see it though if you expect to come out of the cinema feeling uplifted because you won’t, you will however feel yourself on the edge of your seat and immersed for the fall running time. Forget the feel-bad film of Christmas, it’s the feel-bad film of the year.