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Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Review by Toby Lattimore
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) (18)
Uncompromising and brutally frank this remake of the much acclaimed Swedish original throws the viewer into the cold wastes of Northern Europe where two characters from very different backgrounds, each caught up in an out of control storyline, unexpectedly come together to solve the mystery of a missing girl. The female lead, Lisbeth Salander, is played by Rooney Mara, her performance powerful and grim, loaded with the baggage of a damaged childhood. She helps out Daniel Craig, a magazine editor called Mikael Blomkvist, who has been enlisted as the investigator during an enforced sabbatical.
The film is about these two entrenched central characters and their suffering and only the notable stalwart presence of Christopher Plummer and the emotional Joely Richardson adds much to the mix. The film therefore hinges on Mara and Craig and both achieve a dispassionately savage approach to the problems they face that keeps the viewer following in their wake. But much of what we see here is the same as the original, the director David Fincher (Se7en, Alien 3) adding little originality, just not as good and even the shocking violence fails to shock as much as the parent film does.
In many ways this 2011 remake of the 2009 film has not had enough time to breathe, the original actors Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyqvist still iconically linked to the roles. Rapace is also fast becoming a super star with her role in the new aliens film Prometheus much banded and secured no doubt after her success in the original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It is plain though that this film is gripping and a frank engagement with a hard tortured reality, a worthy watch. No doubt Rooney Mara will also soon benefit from taking on such a demanding role.