David Fincher’s remake of the Swedish political thriller The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, a version of the first novel in Steig Larsson bestselling Millennium trilogy has been receiving mixed reviews across the globe. The story follows a disgraced left-wing journalist, Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig), as he investigates the disappearance of a wealthy patriarch’s niece from 40 years ago. The elderly industrialist Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer) hires Salander to perform a comprehensive background check on the investigative journalist Mikhail Blomkvist, whom Vanger wants to look into the unsolved murder of his grand-niece. Blomkvist, on the back foot after losing a libel case, accepts the job and hires Salander as his assistant, realising that her ability to entice information out of computers might be as useful as his investigative skills. As they work together in the investigation, Blomkvist and Salander uncover immense corruption and grisly murders beyond anything they had ever imagined at the heart of their elderly clients family.
Newcomer Rooney Mara’s portrayal of anti-social punk computer hacker genius Lisbeth Salander gives audiences a stellar performance by managing to delve so deep into the character that for a second we forget we are watching a performance. As the film’s title suggests the girl and not Daniel Craig is the star here. Although Daniel Craig does hold his own as the subdued and somewhat rumpled side-kick.
The film has been shot on well-chosen locations in rainy Stockholm and the frozen north, and a major, and wise, decision was to have the characters speak informal, rather neutral English with a slight Swedish inflection. The performances are perfect all round, its clear Fincher and the casting production went to great lengths to pick not only great actors but those who embody the very essence of their characters.
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