Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Movie Review: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

I treated myself today and ran down to the local Regal Cinema to catch The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.  I read the Stieg Larson novel and couldn't put it down.  I also watched the Swedish version of the movie complete with Noomi Rapace and sub-titles and quite enjoyed it.

 So how did the Hollywood version fare?  I think it did quite well.  Still set in Sweden with Briton Daniel Craig as disgraced writer, Mikael Blomqvist and American Rooney Mara as security expert Lisbeth Salander, the story largely sticks to the book.  With Blomqvist and eventually Salander commissioned to write a history of the Swedish company Vanger, controlled by aging magnate Hendrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer,) the writer is also engaged to investigate a murder in the Vanger family.  Harriet Vanger disappeared 40 years earlier, and the effort to learn her story leads through sordid family undertakings, violent misogyny, and murder.

This movie is actually a bit more complete than the Swedish version, as we see Salander wiping out Hans-Erik Wennstrom's bank accounts as she does in the books.  In many ways Mara's portrayal of Salander is more stark than Rapace's, much as I imagined her from the story.  Craig is fine in his role.  Christopher Plummer, Stellen Skarsgard, Robin Wright, Joely Richardson and others make a fine supporting cast.

There is one divergence from the book I didn't quite understand, however, and that is the location of Harriet Vanger.  Not sure for the reason she is found in England rather than Australia, and why it was necessary to knock off cousin Anita, but it is what it is.

A really good adaptation of the novel.

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