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Review: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

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I had consistently seen and heard about the Swedish Millenium trilogy based off the best selling novels. After all, a lot of talk hyped up the performance of Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander. Then late last year, the trailer for a new American version came out. And it blew me away (Seriously, one of my all-time favorite trailers). David Fincher. Daniel Craig. Christopher Plummer.  Music by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. And it created a star out of a bit player in The Social Network: Rooney Mara. I had never seen the Swedish films, nor read the books, so Fincher’s vision of the story would be my first introduction into the world.

While the weight of the movie rests on Mara’s Salander, the plot focuses on journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Craig). His claims on a powerful corporation were not research enough, and he is sued with slander. His problems take a back seat when he gets a call to visit the house of a wealthy industrialist (Plummer) to solve the unsolved disappearance of his niece decades prior. To help him out, he enlists the services of hacker/social outcast/ biker, Lisbeth Salander (Mara). Her story takes on a whole other part of the movie filled with rape, revenge, and top notch detective work. Together, they get to the bottom of what turns out to be a messy, sick, and dark tale.

The story is not for the squeamish or most people for that matter. Salander’s journey is deeply disturbing, violent, and gruesome. But it is what makes her. She turns out to be one of the most odd heroines in cinema history. Who else can pull of the bleached eye brows and micro bangs and still seem so cool and distant? Rooney Mara’s performance is definitely one to be admired and I really hope they can pull two more movies from this franchise. What else is there? The music, from the same guys who did The Social Network, is pitch perfect. The setting, is perfectly chilling. Even Daniel Craig is his James Bond-ish self, but is a normal person. I won’t spoil the mystery, but the movie isn’t even about that. Instead I got caught up with the journey Blomkvist and Salander take. They might be one of the oddest couples in recent memory, but it just is perfect. It’s never going to be a rainy day movie or be put on any of my all time favorites list due to how difficult at times it can be to watch, but Fincher did create a near perfect film.

Also: be on the lookout from one of the most unique and one of my favorite title sequences ever.

My Rating: A

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  1. Pingback: Fall Movie Preview « Weekday Matinee

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