Tuesday, 24 January 2012

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

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Year:2011
Country of origin:USA / Sweden / UK / Germany
Director:David Fincher
Genre:Dark thriller
Starring:Daniel Crai, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgård
Rating:4/5
IMDB link:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1568346/
Tagline:The Feel Bad Movie Of Christmas
Favourite line:"He's had a long standing sexual relationship with his co-editor of the magazine. Sometimes he performs cunnilingus on her. Not often enough in my opinion."

Fincher's English language remake of a Swedish original, which itself was based on a novel.
Got it?
Let's go.

The plot:
Mikael Blomkvist is a journalist, employed by Millennium magazine, based in Stockholm. As we join the action, his life is in turmoil, an article he wrote accusing a businessman of misdeeds landing him with a libel case, which he lost.
Desperate, life savings gone on defending the case, he is offered a lifeline when a request comes in that he investigate a family, possibly implicated in a string of murders, some dating back many, many decades.
Lisbeth Salander is twenty three though, due to a traumatic past, she is still a ward of the state, deemed incapable of deciding what is right or wrong. Her life collides with Mikael when he discovers that she was employed to hack into his personal details with such efficiency, instead of turning her over to the authorities, he instead requests she join him as assistant in investigating the murders.
Inevitably, chaos and bloody mayhem soon follow.....

With Fincher back on familiar territory here, you know you are in a safe pair of hands, and he surely delivers. From the moment the trademark, highly stylised credits roll, it really does feel like slipping on a well loved pair of denier 15 tights.
Daniel Craig mooches around efficiently enough, doing his best 'I'm not Bond, honest Guv'nor' impression, much as he always does, but the stand out here really has to be Rooney Mara as the troubled Lisbeth. A goth type, covered in tattoos and piercings, she packs quite the visual punch, and the characterisation is impressive and damned intriguing too, the combination of haunted wisdom and fiery spontaneity a compelling one.
Having not seen the Swedish original, it is hard to comment on the validity of this remake, though the usual position is to frown upon them, especially if the only purpose of the remake is to allow the terminally lazy to watch the damned thing, but this may be an exception as, have to say, it was pretty darn riveting.
The book is supposedly a fine read, too, and has been sitting idle on my bookshelf for far too long.
Maybe now's as good a time as any to dust it down.
Following the disappointment of Benjamin Button, and the puzzlement of The Social Network - a movie about Facebook? Really? - it's pleasing to see Fincher deliver the goods once more. Rock solid stuff.

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