Movie Review: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)
The story behind The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo needs no formal introduction: a burned journalist is getting big bucks to solve a murder mystery on a large family-owned industrial company. While cracking on this case, we’re introduced to the real star of the show, a computer hacker chick with a glorious dragon tattoo. Harriet who? We just want to know more about Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara) and her gorgeously grunge wardrobe.
Director David Fincher brought us Se7en and Fight Club, making him the obvious choice for the Hollywood version of Stieg Larsson’s dark and stormy novel. But of course, we can’t shy away from a little grease and glamour. Mikael (Daniel Craig) is employed by some big Swedish industrial company owned by Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer) and Martin Vanger (Stellan Skarsgård) and instantly gets involved with its uncommunicative members. Is it just me or is it a little difficult to solve anything while living under such close quarters with your employers? If you’ve read Sherlock Holmes or any other detective story, you always know “the man who hires the detector should always be on the suspects’ list.”
We spend a lot of time on Mikael’s computer and there are a lot of filler scenes building up momentum to a new clue. Then there is more time spent drawing Lisbeth Salander’s portrait as some messed up kid deemed a ward of the state that periodically performs illegal computer hacks, has lesbian sex and eats instant noodles. When her guardian goes ill, she’s suddenly put in a vulnerable position performing sexual favors for her civil servant (Yorick van Wageningen). But don’t worry, she gets her payback, on an epic level.
Whether you’re looking for action, mystery, suspense, violence or sex, you’ll get your fair share with Fincher’s fast-paced and psychologically thrilled version. However, what mostly bothers me is the fact that Lisbeth is first introduced as a super feminist justice-fighting heroic character and yet towards the end of the movie she seems just as human as any other 23-year-old girl, when her little fantasy with Mikael instantly shatters on Christmas day. It might have been better if Fincher strayed further away from the original character of Lisbeth and stayed closer to Mikael’s. Although one thing’s for sure, you’ll fall in love with all of Rooney Mara.