The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo review

He everyone! I wrote a nice review of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo for HTTProductions a few days ago. You can read the full version here, but be warned there are major spoilers in it. So for those who don’t want spoilers, I’m posting this condensed version here. Enjoy!

Directed By: David Fincher
Written By: Steven Saillian; based on the novel by Stieg Larsson
Produced By: Søren Stærmose, Ole Søndberg, Scott Rudin, Ceán Chaffin
Edited By: Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall

Starring: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Sarsgård, Steven Berkoff, Robin Wright, Yorick van Wageningen, and Joely Ticharsdon
Music By: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross

Distributed By: Columbia Pictures
Budget: $100 million
Runtime: 158 minutes

Rating: 8.4/10

I approached this film with minimal knowledge of what it was I was about to see. I only knew three things for sure: it is based on a book, there is a Swedish version that came out in 2009, and that a girl rapes a guy with a dildo. That being said I absolutely loved the film. From what I’ve been able to tell, most people love the book, and by extension of that, the film(s), because of the main character Lisbeth. I have to say she was quite the character, unique enough to be memorable and awesome enough to help keep interest in the plot; that being said I really found myself more drawn into the story of Mikael trying to find the killer of young Harriet.

Lisbeth Salander’s life is followed alongside the story of Daniel Craig’s character Mikael as he tries to solve the forty-year-old case of a missing girl. After watching the film I started analyzing what I had seen, and I began to wonder why I had seen all of those events of Lisbeth’s life. None of it ties into the missing girl story and all of it could have been replaced with a few lines of dialogue. I’m glad I saw it because Lisbeth is undoubtedly the most interesting character and without her story the film would have been far more boring, but I fail to see why it was important to include those scenes. I know that those who have read the books will tell me that this film is almost a straight forward adaption from the novel with only one or two major changes, and that the issues I’m having with the film are issues that I would have with the book as well. I have not read the book, however, and since I have seen the film I can judge it. I absolutely loved seeing Salander’s life events outside of the main plot. I suppose you could call it a side plot, I just had an issue justifying why it was all important to the main plot of Harriet’s killer. Then again I may be missing something since I have not read the series. As I’m sure someone will correct me. Moving on.

To be perfectly honest I didn’t really connect with any of the characters in the film. Lisbeth is a psychopath, which made her cool but ultimately gave her character a sense of being too ‘out there’ for me to really be able to connect with. Mikael Blomkvist was another weird character for me. I liked him at times and at the same time I never really was fond of him. The rest of the cast is mostly the dead girl’s family, all of who are Nazis, mean-spirited, or murders. I do believe the characters were portrayed in a way that accurately reflected what the author of the book was trying to do. All of the characters are flawed by design, to more accurately reflect humanity. This is actually a plus for the film. I remember the end of the film where Salander is getting ready to give Mikael a present, and she finds him still with his, I’m not sure what to call her but I’ll use ‘girlfriend.’ The scene tore me up. It was incredibly sad. So maybe I did connect with Salander, just not on a level that made her real to me.

Overall this is a great film and I highly recommend it to everyone. Be warned, it is graphic. There are two rape scenes and multiple sex/nude scenes. If you can handle that, then I should think it a crime for you not to see this magnificent film. I would have been happy to give this film a 9/10 if not for the plot issues I mentioned above, and those are issues with the novel itself, so I do not place blame on the film for them. Go see it, you will not be disappointed.


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