Patty (woodycakes) wrote,

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Movie Raving: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Hey Hey! [Rooney Mara Source]
I know, I just had Rooney Mara on before the cut on my last post, but I couldn't help it. I finally got to see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo a year plus after I finished the book and well, I liked it. A lot. I came into it, trying to put the Swedish version of the film out of my mind, trying not to compare them, but I couldn't and what surprised me was how I liked them both in different ways.

I'm glad I did this in the order in which I tackled it, Swedish film, then read the book then English adaptation. Now, all I need is for David Fincher, Daniel Craig and Rooney to sign on for the next two sequels and I'll be set. Yup, I was that impressed.
Photos courtesy of Rooney Mara Source
This beautifully taut and terrifying thriller is faithful to its source in just about every way that matters. [Philadelphia Inquirer]
Let's start off by saying how I appreciated that we saw different elements from the book that weren't included in the movie. You can't blame the book for leaving out some details but it compressed so much of it into the movie, I didn't have time to think, "what else did they miss out on?" because they gave me so much already.

I liked seeing the softer side of Mika, doting on his daughter. I really liked reading about Mika as a dad in the book (albeit an absent one) so seeing his religious-ish daughter give him a visit and how uncomfortable he was when she prayed. Plus, it was nifty to have her solve a huge bit of the mystery for him.

I also loved seeing how 'affectionate' Mika could be with Lisbeth. Sure, it was Lisbeth that initiated their encounters, but as they got closer, it was nice to see Mika grow into whatever kind of relationship it was they had. Unfortunately, it was apparently not so clear with Lisbeth what they were so it was fun to see Lisbeth get 'jealous' over Erika and throw away her expensive friend-gift. I would have taken it.

Photos courtesy of Rooney Mara Source
This film has two of Fincher's happiest trademarks: It's full of information and stretches over a remarkably long time (165 minutes), yet it's neither confusing nor overextended. [Charlotte Observer]
And despite the crazy length, I didn't actually feel it was long because the storytelling was particularly great. Maybe because I already knew details beforehand, but I felt like it unfolded on an easier to grasp level. Sure, it wasn't as suspenseful (to me, at least) but I got so many more details out of it -- from the flashbacks, to the way they uncovered details about the deaths -- and I appreciated their investigation more.

They even threw us a bone and gave us the entire Wennerstrom affair and how they solved it. Sure, it got a tad over-extended in the end there, but perhaps it was because I was expecting an ending like the Swedish version that left me wanting more. No doubt, I want the sequel from this one stat, but at least we sort of saw some closure before the credits rolled.

Shout out to the other cast members as well. From Captain Von Trapp Christopher Plummer, the man I want my grandpa to be who did Henrik Vanger so well to Robin Wright, who's accent was so damn spot on; to Stellan Skarsgård who now creeps the hell out of me, even if I loved him so much in Mamma Mia; to Joely Richardson who pulled off a great and really classy Anita (I see you sleeping with Mika now!); to Embeth Davidtz whom I didn't get enough of as Mika's sister Anika; and even Goran Visnjic who makes me wish there were more Armansky and of course, the two-second appearance of Holder Joel Kinnaman whom I'm so looking forward to seeing more of as Christer in the next two movies (yes, the icon makes sense).

Of course, Daniel Craig looked marvelous in his eyeglasses and the many ways he balanced it off his face. I loved the Swedish!Mika but when I read that Craig was taking on the role, it took on a whole new meaning for me, because really, Mika in briefs, and the glasses and even being tortured, he was hot, which is incentive enough for some people (I'm looking at you, jamypye).

Photos courtesy of Rooney Mara Source
Chemistry is one of the few things left filmmakers can't fake with CGI, and the dynamic between Craig and Mara in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is so sensational, it instantly propels the movie beyond glossy, high-toned pulp into something far more affecting. [Miami Herald]
The real treat would have to be Rooney's portrayal of Lisbeth though. The nominations she's been getting left and right could have snowballed from all the media frenzy this movie is getting, but I'd like to give her credit for really becoming Lisbeth. I was in love with Noomi Rapace's take on the role but Rooney brings her own style to it and her own flavor and I love it too. Her relationship with Holger Palmgreen and even Dragan Armansky are so nuanced and I can't wait to see how she brings her bad-assery to when we meet Zalachenko in the next two movies.

Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and will probably want to do a re-read/rewatch of the Swedish version, this one and the book just for more fun times. Will she win the Oscar? Of course not, or at least it's highly doubtful, but what a way to make a splash indeed. Sure, she'll be known for this role forever and will be benchmarked by it, but it's not a bad way to be remembered.

Kudos to Fincher and the screenwriter Steven Zaillian who adapted it from the book (he wrote Schindler's List too, no wonder) for the job well done. I'm really looking forward to another rewatch, so let's hope I can block off some time soon. This is me, trying to catch up as always. Let's see if I can make up for it (considering it's only January).

Even More Movie Raving:
Ides of March
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn 1.0
Tags: movies, rooney mara
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