Review: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Review: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Here lately, I have seen few movies featuring a sophisticated plot. Most of the time, the plot can be summed up in around five words, but to try and sum up the plot for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo‘s with “Two people solve a crime,” however, would in itself be a crime. Steig Larsson succeeded in weaving an intricate web that could entice any fly and David Fincher has succeeded in bringing Mr. Larsson’s best-selling novel to the screen.

To say that the plot of this movie is great would an understatement. If they that say a picture is worth a thousand words, then David Fincher has written a library. This movie catches so much of the book’s charm through the emotion of the characters, with Rooney Mara stealing the spotlight as Lisbeth Salander. Lisbeth is one Hell of a character: a quiet, introverted hacker, covered in piercings and tattoos, who knows the harsh reality of life all too well. Daniel Craig captures (for the most part) the character of Mikael Blomkvist, who is a reporter who has just had his reputation ruined. Yorick van Wageningen plays Advokat Nils Bjurman, the slimy “rapist pig” that is supposed to be Lisbeth’s guardian; he is just about as detestable and hated as he is in the book. One complaint that I do have, however, is that the Vanger family is nowhere near is despicable as they are the novel, and they even cut out’s Blomkvist’s relation with Cecilia Vanger, although I won’t complain too much about that. I don’t want to spend half of the movie watching Blomkvist woo older women, although I still would’ve liked to have seen more of Isabella Vanger’s venomous personality.

One thing that fans of the book will enjoy is that the movie follows the book very closely. In fact, they managed to cram just about everything in the movie, besides Blomkvist and Cecilia’s relationship. At times, however, this is a bad thing; I only knew what was going on throughout the whole movie because I had read the book. It feels like the pictures went over their quota, exceeding the “thousand word” mark. A lot of the story tends to be told through actions instead of through dialogue, which would be fine if it was done sparingly, but the majority of the story is told this way, which leads to a lot of confusion. I got lost frequently, not knowing what was going on, event though I had read the book before. If I hadn’t have read the book, I would have not have understood a lot things happening in the movie.

The movie does have its moments, though. There are scenes that grasp you as tightly as they do in the book. The encounters between Lisbeth and Bjurman are some of the most powerful parts of the movie, showing exactly what Lisbeth is capable of when pushed, and the torture scene near the end is wonderfully executed. The score, created by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross is moody and ambient, perfectly capturing the intensity and suspense of the movie. I’ve got to say that one of the most suspenseful moments of the film would not have been the same without Enya’s “Orinoco Flow (Sail Away)” playing in the background. Also, an Easter egg presented somewhat near the begining of the movie will please fans of Reznor’s work.

For those of you are fans of the book, you won’t be disappointed. The film faithfully follows the book (for the most part), bringing the suspenseful, mysterious nature of the book to life, although sometimes it feels as if the film tries to cram too much of the book into the movie. The characters are portrayed well by their actor counterparts, giving life to the gritty film. By the end of the movie, you will know Lisbeth as more than a bitter and introverted hacker. You will see that she can be as passionate and courageous as any other hero, perhaps even more. Some parts of the book were left out of the movie, but I feel that’s for the best; the movie is confusing and cluttered at times. But, at the same time, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is an incredibly powerful work of cinema, drawing you in and never letting go; this movie definitely does the novel justice.


Brilliant acting
Follows the novel well
The story will draw you in and not let go
The story is told well without dialogue
The score is fantastic
The story can be confusing at times
Not enough of the Vangers
91 out of 100

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