Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgard, Steven Berkoff, Robin Wright, Joely Richardson, Goran Visnjic and Geraldine James

David Fincher

Running Time:
158 mins

Out to buy on DVD/Blu-Ray/download 23/04/12

Review by Jordon Taylor


“If you touch me, I’ll more than alarm you.”

Mikael Blomkvist (Craig) is offered a job by Henrik Vanger (Plummer) to investigate the disappearance of his niece Harriet Vanger, whose whereabouts have been unknown for almost 40 years. Blomkvist reluctantly accepts the job, unknowing of what he has been thrown into. Lisbeth Salander (Mara), a young, disturbed computer hacker, attracts Blomkvist’s attention when she hacks into his computer, and enlists her into the investigation with him. As the pair delve further into the Vanger family history, they find more than they bargained for, as the disappearance of Harriet turns into a deadly spiral of murder.

‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ is the first book of the ‘Millennium series’ trilogy, written by Swedish writer Stieg Larsson in 2005. The popular trilogy was then produced into films in 2009, the first directed by Danish filmmaker Niels Arden Oplev, starring Noomi Rapace as Salander. And so, much like most popular books and films, the trilogy landed in Hollywood and was taken on by dark director, David Fincher. Director of ‘Fight Club’ and ‘Seven’, Fincher takes on the dark and twisted first part of the trilogy in depth and captures the characters and narrative perfectly and stylishly.

The story splits into two, following the life of Blomkvist and Salander separately, before bringing them both together. Blomkvist is dealing with a lawsuit against him in which he is accused of libel, and Salander is battling with her sexually violent and blackmailing legal guardian. When Blomkvist takes the investigation from Vanger, he finds an almost dead end until he finds Salander hacking into his computer. Paying her a visit, he enlists her and her skills into helping with the investigation. Salander’s extraordinary skills in computer hacking and her photographic memory, help open Blomkvist’s eyes to what he has been missing, as the two uncover the murderous history of the Vanger family and close in on the life threatening perpetrator.

Fincher’s ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ stays quite true to the book, lavishing in the suspense fuelled narrative and the complexity of the characters, whilst creating cool and almost edge of your seat moments. Fairly unknown, Mara’s portrayal of Salander makes the film and overshadows Craig, with her stone cold, emotion-free and rebellious character, reminiscent of Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley, as she fights for herself and firmly kicks the ass of the bad guys. If you’re a fan of dark mysteries and complex characters, then this is definitely for you. ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ supplies suspense and mystery but also prepare for a lot of characters and a lot of back story over the almost three hour film.

Although the film does drag on, especially towards the end of the film, the well thought out characters and suspense filled narrative is definitely worth the time. A definite must see – especially to those who are a fan of the books.

Jordan Taylor

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