March 06, 2012By Richard Jones
A look at the US version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (MA 15+)...
SWEDISH author Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy of thrillers were such world-wide hits there can be few people who have never heard of Lisbeth Salander.
The Goth, punk computer hacker is a formidable opponent for anyone and director David Fincher (The Social Network) has astutely cast Rooney Mara in the role of Lisbeth.
If you thought that a Hollywood remake wouldn’t measure up to the Swedish original, don’t despair.
Fincher has retained the same hard edge in the story about a serial killer and a rich industrialist’s desperate search for a beloved niece.
Heinrich Vangar (Christopher Plummer) hires crusading journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) who is still coming to terms with losing a defamation case in the Swedish courts.
What’s this? James Bond actor Craig playing a journalist? Well, Fincher has come up trumps. Craig looks the part with his icy blue eyes, grey-ish crew cut and his toned physique.
Larsson was bent on exposing murder plots, corporate greed and far right manipulation of Swedish state bureaucracies by ex-Nazis. All of these themes get a run in Fincher’s film.
Blomkvist ends up working with Lisbeth as they gradually unravel all the threads in the 40-year-old mystery about Harriet Vangar’s disappearance.
In the midst of an icy Swedish winter, Blomkvist and Lisbeth set to work. Beforehand, Lisbeth – with her leathers, piercings and startling punk hairdo – has seen off a subway bag-snatcher and her sleazy, State-appointed guardian.
She moves in with Blomkvist in a cottage on Heinrich’s estate. No one in the extended Vangar family they’re dealing with gets on very well with any other relative, so the investigators have a lot to cope with.
Blomkvist is a rather old-fashioned, conservative male and although he and Lisbeth have vastly different methods they team together impressively.
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