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The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011)

Not the kind of dragon art style I imagined as her tat.

I think most, if not all, "Americanized" films—remakes of foreign films, translated into English (with or without accents from the country the story originally hailed from) and with big-time actors—are a waste of money and time, most especially when the original film was brilliantly done. Now you know where by biases lie. But then again, there are some good points to this version.

Just a taste of a big plus reason to watch this film

Title card/opening credits. To post a snapshot would not give justice to this sort of music video that clearly sets the mood of the entire film: dark and disturbing. The music added more bang for your buck there. One thing that was consistent in both film versions is the treatment and gravity of the subject.

Needless to say; it's graphic.

Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander is great and she deserves the noms, but I can't help comparing her to Noomi Rapace, who really awesomely rocked the part before her. Touch-move, Rapace was first. But it's all good—even with Daniel Craig, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgård, and their Swedish-accented English.

"I am insane(-ly great)!" Nod!

Style. The overall look of the film is a welcome improvement: more sophisticated outfits, a really nice newspaper office, and comfy home interiors. Black, white, and subdued colors and lights work. It's noticeable maybe because of the two-year age gap. Swedish style circa 2009 wasn't bad, but I guess Hollywood owns this aspect.

A big contrast to the film's theme and tone—and it looks comfy, too.

A different take. Basically, this version made research into the past more engaging as opposed to the original Swedish version that made the whodunit search a real thrill to watch. It's probably a good thing since I already knew who did it; no more suspense there. The film also focused more on the characters and relationships.

Are you going to stare or are you going to fuck—or cuddle?!

I don't want to rant about the liberal changes this version had taken, but there are a few I feel strongly about: an easy clue to solve the number mystery of the past, their version of Lisbeth and her relationship with Mikhael, and the ending. It also seemed that this film opted to spoon-feed interpretations of character relationships when I didn't have a problem discovering them on my own while watching the original version. See now why I'm biased to the Swedish film?

In the end, it's a good watch—more so, if you haven't seen the original (or read the book)—and we have David Fincher primarily to thank for that.

I've already seen the next two films of the Swedish trilogy. (Yes, I should read the books.) If there are Hollywood remakes of those in the works, let's see then if they can even the score.

Round 1: Swedish Original, 1. Hollywood version, 0.5.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo gets a seven out of ten, for being a rather tasteful remake of an already brilliant Swedish film adaptation of the Stieg Larsson bestselling novel.

*GIF by me; screencaps courtesy of VLC

You may also want to read the review for original Swedish version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and other book/movie reviews of The Millenium Trilogy.


Watched this a second time, and appreciated everything about this film. The music, the acting, the editing─these were all brilliant. And the ending, although totally different from the Swedish version, actually works if you think of it as a set-up to the next films.

The liberty they took in writing the ending sort of implies that their audience couldn't figure it out by themselves. But, yes, it's all good. It wouldn't be nominated in the Oscars if it was all crap. But if I had to choose one, I'd still go for the original Swedish version, at least for this first film.

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