Journalist Mikael Blomkvist is aided in his search for a woman who has been missing for forty years by Lisbeth Salander, a young computer hacker.
Directed: David Fincher
What we think: What would possess anyone to remake one of the most critically acclaimed films just a couple of years after its initial release?
One thing is for sure I am just glad that it was in the hands of David Fincher and nobody else.
The Swedish original which was riding off the back of a series of books by Stieg Larsson shot to fame when relative unknown Noomi Rapace graced the screens with one of the most ground breaking performances ever seen in foreign film.
My conclusion is that not all people out there appreciate the foreign arts, possibly due to having to painstakingly read subtitles. With most already reading the books they weren’t about to read through an entire film as well.
Mikael Blomkvist (Craig) has just lost a libel case and is looking for an escape route, a place to hide while the dust settles. He is contacted by Henrik Vanger (Plummer) to help investigate the disappearance of his niece some 40-years ago.
Blomkvist links the missing girl to a series of grisly murders and traces it back into the Vanger family, all of whom are none too pleased about the journalists sudden arrival.
Blomkvist is aided by hacker and researcher Lisbeth Salander (Mara) a troubled individual with a dark past, something that is not elaborated on too much, but more is revealed in the sequel (if Fincher chooses that route).
The film spends a good part setting up the story of the missing girl and its well over and hour before the pair are brought together, but when they are its a different chemistry to their predecessors.
It’s dark, disturbing and at times very graphic, most notably when Salander has to visit her guardian Nils Bjurman (Yorick van Wageningen) whose sick and twisted sexual appetite is not for the feint hearted. Or near to the film’s conclusion when things take a turn for the sinister.
In fact so disturbing is one particular scene that Wageningen locked himself away in his room for the rest of the day after shooting it, which just goes to show you how in depth the script was along with Fincher’s acute direction, drawing inspiration and mood on past thrillers such as Se7en and even Zodiac.
Mara though is exceptional, almost emotionless and constantly sad looking, its a different portrayal to that of Rapace’s Salander in the original. There Salander was a package of rage, a firework that was ready to explode at the slightest spark, here the 2011 Salander is almost gentle with a sense of caring.
Craig himself, looking a little over weight so as not to be attributed to a Bond style physique is unshaven and tired looking throughout, yet he’s consistently great, keeping to his own accent rather than attempt a Nordic tone.
Whether or not you feel that the film should have ever been remade it is a remake worthy of Fincher’s high calibre. Personally I still rate the original highly and would recommend that it’s a must watch.
View the trailer
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