David Fincher's adaptation is about the same as the Swedish version, only its like an energy-drink this time around.
If there is any director where I obsessively check up on to follow every production possibly involved with, its David Fincher. Surely, there are plenty of directors today that I have a strong passion for with their films, but not one director has ever knocked it out of the park for me like Fincher has. Not only are three of his films in my top-ten, but my all-time favorite movie is without a doubt the 1999 cult-classic, Fight Club. It was with that film where David Fincher's unbelievably exotic style inhaled my existence and changed the way that I look at cinema today. Fight Club was a life-changing movie for me; in fact its the only film that I've ever seen over ten times (Yes, I've kept track). Fincher has had plenty of other fantastic achievements in his career like Se7en (another top-ten favorite), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and The Social Network. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, if I had span a time-line between 1999 and 2011, is the absolute best film ever made since Fight Club's release. Without further ado, welcome to the top-ten list Millennium...
THE moment that the film started, I had one-hundred percent satisfaction already. A chill ran threw my spine before anything could even happen. It was like a sign; a sign telling me that the film was going to be extraordinary, and that I was in for hell-of-a-flick. After one of the best opening-credits crafted in the longest time that contained Trent Raznor and Karen O's epic-version of Immigrant Song, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo's perfect 5/5 star rating was already set in stone.
GIRL has talent. A lot of it. Rooney Mara was a female actor that I can admittedly say I was skeptical about at first. Frankly, I saw from films like The Social Network and even A Nightmare on Elm Street that she had a lot of acting capability, but to pull of Lisbeth Salander, a character that Noomy Rapace brilliantly portrayed in the 2009 Swedish trilogy, I was concerned she wouldn't be able to pull it off as well. With any David Fincher project, however, I had faith and a lot of it. It was going to take a lot of of talent behind Mara's performance that would subject her to beating out Rapace in the role. If I had to make my pick, Rooney Mara plays Lisbeth Salander MUCH better every time I think through both performances in my head. She was so perfect for the character the entire time that it slipped passed my head throughout production, through the trailers, and each and every moment up until I saw the fim. Even though I'd love to see Michelle Williams take home the OSCAR for her excellent performance in My Week with Marilyn, I wouldn't at all upset if Mara was nominated and won. She deserves it.
WITHout a doubt, Daniel Craig was the perfect choice for playing Mikael Blomkvist. When seeing the foreign-language film early January of last year, I remember thinking to myself that the actor playing Blomkvist in the film reminded me deeply of Craig. For the advantage of both myself and David Fincher, two great minds think alike clearly since he did cast Craig here. On a more important note, Daniel Craig gives the most powerful, enchanting performance of his entire career. Despite how great a James Bond he is, he's an even better Mikael Blomkvist and I cannot wait to see him in The Girl who Played with Fire and The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest; that is, if Fincher decides to direct the next two films in the trilogy and Craig decides to return. If Craig is able to grasp an Oscar-nomination for his performance, in which he deserves, I'm sure we'll see him back if he gains the chance.
THE way that Fincher sets a film up so perfectly through moods and a certain tone is inspiring. With every setting in the film, David Fincher is able to grasp the audience's attention through a dark setting and a crisply creepy tone. Fincher does it with just about all of his movies. That dark outline with each and every one of his films is as valuable as his signature. Without this style, it just wouldn't be a David Fincher movie. To Fincher's advantage, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is remarkably brilliant with telling a mind-twisting murder mystery like none other. A film like this is the perfect project for him and he certainly handles it well. The film mostly focuses on a disgraced reporter asked to solve a forty year-old murder and how it turns into one of the biggest cases he's ever faced. When things get out of hand, he looks for assistance on the job where he tracks down a strange computer hacker who's been reading all of his emails and did the check-up on Blomkvist before he was ever hired for the job. When the two partner up, one of the greatest duos in cinematic history in literally the past decade, maybe more, evolves and the two are enjoyable and satisfying to watch throughout the entire picture. The film is filled with plenty of twists and turns to keep the audience intrigued; not to mention, even Fincher has a few tricks up his sleeves that the book nor Swedish film ever grasped.
DRAGON Tattoo has a strong case of brutality and violence in the film that can sometimes make it a hard watch. Nearly there isn't anything much different here than what was shown in the Swedish-version, but Fincher's take on these disturbing scenes are a lot more graphic and difficult to watch because of the silence behind them. Chills ran up my spine more than a few times during this film and that never happened when I saw the foreign-language film. Fincher has cleverly crafted (or redone) some of the most brutal scenes ever shown in cinematic-history in the longest time. Certainly, the scenes are still disturbing in the Swedish-flick, but with Fincher's dark undertone style of direction, these scenes feel as though you're right there watching in cold-blood. Bravo to you, Fincher.
TATTOO; Mark (a person or a part of the body) with an indelible design by inserting pigment into punctures in the skin. The black covered dragon on the back of Lisbeth Salander's back is wicked and done extremely well. The film never really gives off any information behind the meaning of why Lisbeth has the tattoo, but hopefully that can be saved and reserved for more background story on the character in the second and third film. David Fincher has successfully released an Oscar-worthy picture for the second-time in a row. This year, however, I'll be rooting for his film to win all the way (if its nominated). Not only is The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo the best film of 2011, but its one of the best movies I've seen in a long, long time. It might be too soon to say, but this might just be on Fight Club's status level for me. Thats a high praise. Very high praise considering thats my favorite movie of all-time.
Thanks for the read!
-Written by Corey Wood