Saturday, December 24, 2011

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Movie Name: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Year of Release: 2011
Director: David Fincher
Stars: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgaard, Steven Berkoff, Robin Wright, Joely Richardson, Geraldine James, Yorick Van Wageningen, Goran Visnjic, Julian Sands, Donald Sumpter, Ulf Friberg, Sarah Appelberg
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 9

David Fincher is without a doubt one of the most interesting directors working these days. His meticulous eye, and superb direction is flawless, and after the wonderful films that were "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" and "The Social Network", he is back to darker themes, which he explored before in the fantastic films that were "Seven" and "Zodiac". The film follows Mikael Blomkvist, a journalist who has fallen from grace, after trying to expose a corrupt businessman without sufficient evidence. Across his path comes Lisbeth Salander, a young woman who has been battered by a hard life, but who is resilient and extremely intelligent. Both are united in an effort to unveil a killing that occurred 40 years earlier in a small island. The young woman who was killed and disappeared belonged to a very wealthy family, and though her uncle has tried since to discover the truth about her disappearance, it's up to Mikael and Lisbeth to unravel this enigma.
David Fincher's version of the highly successful book from Stieg Larsson, is simply superb. Fincher builds an environment of unease throughout the entire film, one that keeps the viewer always expecting something else. As the story unfolds and we are introduced to Mikael's and Lisbeth's lives, we realize that these people, seemingly so different, have a common core, in their attention to things that most people discard or don't look at. Rooney Mara in particular creates her character with an immersion that is truly fantastic to behold - her Lisbeth though defensive/aggressive is a tender heart who has been brutalized all her life. Her cathartic moments after some brutal events, graphically violent as they may be, are so important in the definition of the character. She reacts to violence as an extension of herself, as a way to protect her inner self. This is a film that boasts attention to detail, to the creation of environments, characters and that doesn't shy away from the grittiness and brutality that comes with life. It is also beautifully shot and edited, with high marks going to cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth and the great soundtrack of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. A simply fantastic film!