Saturday, 31 December 2011

Sweden, the Girl and The Journalist

Well we all know the risque poster with the half naked Rooney Mara and her pierced nipple and the fact it is yet another US remake of a brilliant Swedish film but all that guff aside, the film is really rather good. I should warn ye now, I haven't read any of the books but I am a big fan of the three previous films. I find I cannot read a book of the film if I have already seen the film, I have to read the book before I watch the film and that rarely happens. Anyway the new 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo' film directed by David 'Fight Club' Fincher is really quite something.

For those who don't know the story and haven't even seen the amazing Swedish films, the story is about  a disgraced journalist, Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) who is asked to find out what has happened to a girl who has been missing for 40 years, and who may have been murdered. He is helped by Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), a young woman with a disturbing past, she becomes his research assistant and together they try a solve the crime.

After the beyond amazing opening titles including the amazing cover of 'Immigrant Song' by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross featuring a favourite of mine, Karen O, the story begins. Having seen the other films, I knew what was going to happen and so tried my best not to compare. The story was the same with a few changes but the film is not like the Swedish version. The violence seemed less vulgar and more staged, the villain at the end was more menacing (if that's possible) and Lisbeth's background was barely touched upon. The latter annoyed me as I felt she needed to be explained in depth but this might have taken a back seat in terms of story as it wasn't relevant to this part of the trilogy. But having less background knowledge did have an affect on the way I viewed Rooney Mara who played Salander. She was good, but not as convincing as Noomi Rapace who played Salander in the original films. Rapce had an edge about her character, she acted evil but not because she wanted to but because she had to. Mara played Lisbeth as a stone faced evil assassin which is not what I felt Lisbeth was, but that is my view.

Another aspect of the film I wasn't sure about was the relationship between Blomkvist and Salander. They seemed too intimate towards the end and the actually end, I did not agree with or like as it went against who Salander was. I don't want to say anymore in case I let something slip. Saying this, I thought the film was fantastic and I have a craving to see it again. The acting was superb and it was great to see less than four Americans in the film, using European and British actors gave the film a clear tone and made it sharper than it would have been if it was made with American accents. I recommend this film to anyone and urge those who love the original to go see it. I'm not saying it is better, I'm saying its different.

On a last note: Fincher has let me down in the past with a literary adaptation. I was really excited about 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button' and the first time I saw it, I was impressed but a little bored in parts. I broke my rule about reading the book and read the short story by my favourite F.Scott Fitzgerald and oh my was I disappointed. The story is brilliant, better than the hack job the film. I saw it in a different light and considered several times (actually I still do) about selling my copy of the film. I was that disappointed. They changed everything in the film apart from the fact he ages backwards otherwise NOTHING is the same. I understand they needed to stretch the story a tad but with the material in the book they could have easily done this. And I would just like to add, there is no damn dying Daisy in the book, the one that took up half the film dying in bed, she was added in and named after another character in The Great Gatsby (also by Gerald). So after this, I do not dare read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, just in case I go crazy again.

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