Movie Review: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
- Article by Tyler Brown
- December 24, 2011
Starring: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer and Stellan Skarsgård
Directed by: David Fincher
You’re reading this sentence. Stop. Look above. Look back down. That’s all you really need to know about this movie. But wait! Don’t go just yet - I’d like to explain why this movie was so goddamn great! Based on the novel of the same name, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo tells the story of Mikael Blomkvist, a journalist with a tarnished reputation that sets out to find a killer in the family of the rich Henrik Vanger; oh, and Mikael gets some help from a girl named Lisbeth Salander, but more on her later. Before you continue I should note that, no I will not be comparing this film to its Swedish counterpart. They’re two separate films based on the same source material. Get over it.
The tale the movie tells is one that you, the viewer, will have to pay attention to. At the beginning of the film, Mikael (Daniel Craig) gets himself into some trouble when he’s accused of falsely reporting on a known businessman. From there, he comes into contact with Henrik (Christopher Plummer) and his haunting obsession over the disappearance of his niece, Harriet, forty years ago. As Mikael’s investigation goes on, we bounce back and forth between him and Lisbeth (Rooney Mara), a sociopathic investigator, until their paths ultimately cross. Am I being vague? Yes I am! But if you know director David Fincher’s other work (The Social Network, Zodiac, Fight Club, Se7en), you know that everyone will be bringing their A-game while navigating you through all the twists and turns.
If anybody deserves a standing ovation for their role in this movie, it’s Rooney Mara without a doubt. Every time Lisbeth is on the screen, Mara fully inhabits the role and commands the viewer so that they can’t look away (and no, jackass, it’s not because she has weird bleached eyebrows). Sure, Daniel Craig was fine as Mikael and Christopher Plummer was endearing as the ailing Henrik, but their roles didn’t exactly push them too far from their norm. No, this is one of those rare roles where the actor/actress completely disappears in order to give life to the character they’re portraying. I should note that this commitment doesn’t stop when there are scenes of utter brutality involved and yes, they were hard to watch at times.
With a great soundtrack by Trent Reznor, acting out the proverbial whazoo, continued great direction from Fincher and an opening sequence that will leave you asking, “What the fuck did I just watch?,” The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a no-brainer for a movie to see over your holiday break. What’s that? You don’t have one? GET BACK TO WORK, SLAVE!