January 9, 2012

Dragon Tattoo Re-inked

David Fincher's adaptation of Stieg Larsson's novel, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is sleeker, more elegant compared to the Swedish original. The film has a lot of atmosphere and polish, but it remains brutal and grisly. Its cinematography accentuates the grim Scandinavian winter, the evil family history of misogyny, Nazism/fascism.

Rooney Mara as the titular punk hacker is peculiar and spellbinding. But unlike Noomi Rapace's twitchy and simmering Lisbeth, Ms. Mara's could be distant at times, perhaps more haunted. It is a star-making performance. Daniel Craig is Mikael Blomkvist, the journalist who hires the computer genius as his assistant in his search for Henrik Vanger's (Christopher Plummer) niece.

There were some plot changes, and there is a lot of exposition, complete with flashbacks, from the get-go. It made for a faster thrill ride, but somehow the ending left me wanting. I think the old adage, "the original is always the best" holds true.

(photo from Imp Awards)


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