The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

David Fincher's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is a curious work for me because the wonderfully gritty Swedish version was released just two years ago. Those of us who see a lot of movies might wonder why Fincher felt moved to create what is ostensibly the same film in spoken English and, for the most part, written Swedish. (I would really appreciate Fincher explaining the logic behind that decision. Is this supposed to suggest authenticity? Frankly, it made no sense to me.) But then the answer to the first question lies within the question, I guess. American audiences would not be (have not been) turned on by a subtitles-heavy version of a complex story of murder and intrigue in the Norse lands. Stieg Larsson's "Girl" novels have been devoured globally so getting the most bang out of a film adaptation in Anglophone markets would require no subtitles. I can find little to quibble about with Fincher's telling of the tale of the damaged and damaging computer genius Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara) and the discredited investigative reporter Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) who are hired to investigate a nearly 50 year old disappearance. Several times I felt like I was watching the touring company of a show I'd already seen on Broadway. That might seem odd considering Craig is such a fine actor and Mara herself is terrific but it just goes back to my opening comment -- Why was the movie made? I'm sure the answer to that question can be found in the Hollywood press but it's not apparent on the screen.


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