Sunday 29 January 2012

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo [2011]

Post the success of the Swedish thriller The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, adapted from the bestselling Swedish novel of the same name written by the late Steig Larsson, it was a given that this would get remade in the US as well. Expectations were high since David Fincher took charge of the remake, and one must concede it has turned out to be a well-made and engaging thriller. The labyrinthine plot concerns how Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig), a disgraced but dogged journalist, and Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), a socially inept but brilliant computer hacker, team up to unearth a 40-year old mystery (the inexplicable disappearance of a then 16-year old girl) and a whole lot of murky secrets surrounding a famous business family. Fincher has always been known for the visual treatment and technical prowess of his films, and these facets are very much present here too. The film has also been paced well in order to ensure that the story moves forward at a near-breakneck speed, while also allowing the development of vital character dynamics and key plot angles. However, that said, I would have preferred had Fincher transplanted the story to the American context and added a more palpable stamp of his directorial touch, instead of merely going for a frame-by-frame remake of the Swedish original. He could have perhaps taken a lesson out of Let Me In, Matt Reeves’ brilliant remake of another highly acclaimed Swedish film, Let the Right One In. On the acting front, Craig has done a commendable job, while Mara, though quite good, couldn’t really match, leave alone outdo, Noomi Rapace’s unforgettable embodiment of Lisbeth’s character in the Swedish version.

Director: David Fincher
Genre: Thriller/Mystery
Language: English
Country: US

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