The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Reviewed

Another novel adaption hits our shores this month, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. A unique film about murder, violence and a lot of mystery. The film stars Daniel Craig as Mikael Blomkvist and Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander and tells the story of a man’s mission to find out what has happened to a girl who has been missing for 40 years, and who may have been murdered. So how does this film measure up to the original Swedish film and more importantly the original novel?

Well if you’re looking for one reason to watch the film it should be Rooney Mara but before we talk about her, let’s find out more about the film itself.

The Plot

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is the first film in Columbia Pictures’ three-picture adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s literary blockbuster The Millennium Trilogy. Directed by David Fincher and starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara, the film is based on the first novel in the trilogy, which altogether have sold 50 million copies in 46 countries and become a worldwide phenomenon.

The Verdict

To start off I’d like to say that Mara’s performance stands on its own. She’s very convincing as this “damaged” character so to speak and you get a certain sense of commitment from Mara to Elizebeth that she portrays. Based on this alone, I think it’s sage to say that we can look forward to the other 2 films from the series in which Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara will continue their respective roles and hopefully keep up the same compelling performances.

Director David Fincher no doubt should take credit for this. Just look at his previous work from the likes of The Social Network to The Zodiac and you can tell where he’s coming from. Bruital yet captivating just about sums it up but I like how it’s a good mix for a daring film at the same time. Why? Well the original film got great reviews and it’s series was only released last year. For a film to be on par with it’s novel origins is not easy.

Take the Twilight saga, while the girls swoon over Robert Pattinson’s portrayal of Edward Cullen, those who read and appreciated the book for it’s detail and it’s brilliant describtions know that the movie doesn’t even compare to the book. Much like some reader’s opinions of the Harry Potter franchise.

Ok, back to David Fincher, he does well to release his English version of the film so soon after the release of the original Swedish version and he’s not to far off. He was very daring with the rape scenes and you could connect to the disgust for the cruelty of it. The original novel, The Millennium series was written by the late Stieg Larsson who was described as a feminist by his longtime partner, Eva Gabrielsson.

When Larsson was 15 years old, he witnessed the gang rape of a girl, which led to his lifelong abhorrence of violence and abuse against women. The author never forgave himself for failing to help the girl, and this inspired the themes of sexual violence against women in his books.

Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is a great mystery film. A mix of brutality, mystery and it keeps you on the edge of your seat. I didn’t feel that the film was too long either because it seemed like there was always more to the characters that i wanted to know. Thankfully there will be 2 more sequels.

Images courtesy of Sony Pictures Singapore

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo opens in cinemas 5 Jan

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