[Movie Review] The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)

The book was great. The movies too; both the 2009 Swedish version and the recently released 2011 US version.

 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (original title in Swedish: Män som hatar kvinnor – “Men Who Hate Women”) is an award-winning crime novel by Swedish author and journalist Stieg Larsson, the first in his Millennium Trilogy.

I have read all three books in the series and am mesmerised by the notion of a new age anti-heroine like Lisbeth Salander.

Thanks to Sony Pictures, I caught the Singapore gala premiere of the 2011 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara on 28 Dec 2011.

The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo movie poster
The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo movie poster

Having watched the 2009 Swedish movie and read the original novel, it was inevitable to draw comparisons.

The main character of Lisbeth Salander is the most important and Rooney Mara (born 1985), the lead actress in this latest release brings more youthfulness to the role than Noomi Rapace (born 1979) in the Swedish version:

Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander
Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander

This is how Mara looks like normally:

Rooney Mara on a normal day
Rooney Mara on a normal day

This is how Mara looks like as Lisbeth Salenger. The piercings on her nipples and nose are all real:

Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander
Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander

The transformation is amazing isn’t it?

Daniel Craig on the other hand, is too much of a familiar face for alpha-male-type movie characters like James Bond. Somehow, he seems to lack some sensitivity playing the lead character of Mikael Blomkvist. Nonetheless, Craig has strong screen presence and is always a delight to catch on the big screen.

Comparing this latest release to the Swedish release, there are more deviations from the original novel. However, the slight changes do give the movie a faster pacing and more adrenaline pumping action comparatively.

The book loyalists would probably prefer the Swedish release for sticking strictly to the original plot but I do understand the need for different adaptations of the same plot to suit different media. My vote goes to the 2011 release.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is now showing in Singapore cinemas and is rated R21 of course, given the mature themes. Go catch it just to see Rooney Mara’s transformation. Watch out the the next two sequels too. 🙂

Movie Trailer:

Synopsis:

“The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” is the first movie instalment based upon “The Millennium Trilogy” series by the late Swedish author and journalist Stieg Larsson. It revolves around the tale of serial murder & corporate trickery, complicated international financial fraud and the buried evil past of a Swedish industrial family. In the movie, Mikael Blomkvist is a writer who recently loses a libel case against corrupt Swedish industrialist Hans-Erik Wennerstrom and is sentenced to prison. Mikael Blomkvist was hired by Henrik Vanger to solve a forty-year-old mystery revolving the case of his missing great-niece. During the duration of the movie, Mikael Blomkvist accidentally gotten the help of Lisbeth Salander and both of them discover a long list of disturbing and shocking revelation involving the Vanger family.

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