Friday, January 06, 2012

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

We went to watch The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo yesterday – a film we were looking forward to after seeing that Daniel Craig was in it, and after one glimpse at the actress playing Lisbeth Salander. The title sequence was gobsmacking: James Bondish but in an oily and dark and somewhat disturbing way, thereafter I found the music a bit annoying at first and got that feeling of, ‘Oh dear, they’re doing the intrusive music to cover the crap content,’ but this turned out not to be the case.

As Blomkvist Daniel Craig was excellent, but then he’s excellent in just about any role he takes, though of course he is always Daniel Craig. I’d add that he was excellent in Quantum of Solace and that the reason the film was crap had more to do with the story and direction. Rooney Mara, as Salander, was simply brilliant. I think my criticism of the Swedish version was that both these roles weren’t filled adequately and, certainly, the Salander of that version wasn’t anywhere near enough as edgy, dangerous and disturbing. I reckon it was Mara’s bleached eyebrows that tipped it. The rest of the cast were great too. Christopher Plumber of course could be relied on to deliver the goods, and Salander’s new guardian did a very good job of being thoroughly detestable.

I could see where bits of the book had been excised and I could understand the reasons why. A large book of course has to be cut to fit into the film format and the need for the plot to head in a relatively straight line to the end. I was slightly annoyed by the cutting of what I will call the ‘Australian bit’ but even then could see why it might have been removed. It didn’t fit the tone and texture of the film and was, in essence, after the dramatic ending - subtext.

Thoroughly recommended.  


osh said...

Hi Neal,

I you liked 'Girl with the Dragon Tattoo', have you tried 'Dragon with the Girl Tattoo' by Adam Roberts?

I highly recommend it as a worthwhile parody.

Pavlov's Cat said...

of what I will call the ‘Australian bit’

I take it you are referring to a cartographic representation of the large island to the South of that continent?

and was much discussed in pre-release reviews

billd said...

Thanks for the write-up Neal. So is it worth seeing this film having read the books and seen the original films? From what you say it sounds like it. Well, I answered my own question...I'll go and see the new film. BTW, did you see those 2 series of The Killing BBC4 ran? More Scandinavian stuff, had a lot of politics padding out the action though.

vaudeviewgalor raandisisraisins said...

you might like Daniel Craig in ARCHANGEL. i had a blast with that one. Boys From Brazil via backwoods Russia nod.

Neal Asher said...

osh, sounds interesting but I don't much enjoy parodies.

No Pavlov, I'm talking about Australia.

I was in Crete, billd, when the subtitled version of The Killing was on here so missed it. Out there I again got to see the American version, and it was excellent (apart from one episode). Back here I tried watching The Killing II and quickly gave up.

Vaude, yes, I very much enjoyed Archangel. I also enjoyed Defiance, and said that the time that it was better than that Quantum crap.

Martin Sommerfeld said...

I mostly agree, but I wasn't only annoyed by them removing Australia, but speechless. I might really understand this if the only thing they did was indeed because it "didn’t fit the tone and texture of the film and was, in essence, after the dramatic ending - subtext"... but, for me it wasn't just subtext!! How on earth could she stay hidden in plain sight for 30 years with her uncle and her brother looking for her?? Her uncle recognized her straight away when he met her - and her foto was hanging on Michaels wall for half the film, so the uncle MUST have met her from time to time?? And "I don't like to meet my family" is'nt enough of an explanation for me... the book made clear that she never came back, so I could understand how she managed it. The film gives to believable explanation, therefore creating a big hole in the plot.