The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is not a new movie. Whether or not people are aware of it, the Swedes have had their version out since 2009. However, in December 2011, the Americans released their depiction of Steig Larssons world-renowned novel, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The basic gist of the story is that, forty years ago, a girl named Harriet Vanger disappeared from a family gathering on the island owned by the Vanger family. Tragically, her body was never found, yet despite all of this, her beloved uncle is convinced it was murder and that the killer is a member of his own tightly knit, dysfunctional family. He hires a financial journalist who has been discredited because of libelous content he published, Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig in the American Version). Eventually, Mikael teams up with the tattooed and troubled-but-resourceful computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara) to investigate the cause of Harriet’s death. Throughout the movie, Blomkvist and Salander uncover corruption beyond anything they have ever imagined. This thriller is chalk full of tough women, serial killers, car chases, gunfire, brainpower, and ex-Nazis. Oh, and you do get a couple good shots of the dragon tattoo.
As an avid lover of the book series, also known as the Millennium Trilogy, and as a staunch supporter of the Swedish films, I was sure that there was no way in the world that the Americans would hold up to the standards set by the original Swedish filmmakers. Upon seeing this movie the day after it opened, much to my surprise and delight, the American’s did a fantastic job on every aspect of the movie. It was almost shot-for-shot identical to the Swedish version. The ending to the 2011 movie was even closer to the book ending than the 2009 Swedish account was. I was also quite pleased that such a high-caliber movie was in my native language…English.
Character Profile: Lisbeth Salander.
Played in the American Movie by: Rooney Mara.
Likes: Technology, smoking, justice, sex, motorcycles, and tattoos.
Dislikes: people, particularly men who hate women.
Strengths: fearlessness, photographic memory, computer hacking.
Weakness: If she has them she makes sure nobody knows.
Comments: Although she played the role of Lisbeth quite differently than Swedish actress Noomi Rapace, Mara made sure the character was just as badass as ever, an accomplishment which left me as a viewer quite satisfied
Character Profile: Mikael Blomkvist.
Played in the American Movie by: Daniel Craig.
Age: Middle Aged…around 40.
Likes: Investigating crime, journalisim, and women.
Strengths: Investigative spirit, charm.
Weakness: Naive at times.
Comments: Daniel Craig made a dashing Mikael Blomkvist and portrayed the character’s journalistic spirit, moral drive, and knack for investigation
So, would I recommend this movie? Most definitely! Although I am extremely quick to praise The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and suggest people to go see it, I am also going to offer some disclaimers. The movie is rated R for a very good reason. The movie lives up to every expectation of what an R rated movie should be. I would like to point out that there is a very graphic rape scene and other scenes of brutal violence towards women. I know that those things are a hard pill to swallow, but they contribute to the=storyline in more ways than one. They are a necessary evil.
Final words of advice: Go see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. You won’t regret it and I have yet to meet one person who has not been smitten.