Words by James Rednall
In this second film adaption of Stieg Larsson’s Swedish novel ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’, director David Fincher creates a dark, gritty, thriller, that slots perfectly in his catalogue, next to his other great works, such as ‘Seven’ and ‘Fight Club’. Stripped apart, the plot is relatively simplistic and understandable. Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig), is a journalist and co-owner of the magazine Millennium, and is hired by Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer), retired CEO of Vanger industries, to find out what has happened to his grand-daughter who has been missing for forty years. After agreeing to the offer, Mikael enlists the help of computer hacker and researcher Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), to aid the investigation as it becomes more complex and dangerous as once believed.
It is not so much the plot, but the layers that are added on that makes the film a success. The depth to the characters is incredible. Rooney Mara transforms herself into this complex, troubled character and doesn’t hold back on the role. Her performance alone is worth watching the film for and she certainly deserves her Oscar nomination. This is a new type of role for Daniel Craig and he certainly shows that playing James Bond is not the only role he can develop and perform brilliantly to. As the relationship between Mikael and Lisbeth develops, it is here that both Craig and Mara’s talents are reflected on screen.
However, along with the performances, it was Fincher’s visionary direction that completes the film. His personal style creates a tense and gritty atmosphere that draws you into Stieg Larson’s world. This is also aided by a fantastic soundtrack that is very well adopted for genre and mood of the film.
The film is also nominated for four more Oscars, including cinematography and sound editing, which it deserves, as these are key to the film’s success. Overall, this is a hard-hitting thriller, that was perfect for David Fincher to direct and a role that was made for Rooney Mara, however, it is understandably not a film for everyone to enjoy.