Tuesday, 13 December 2011

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Worldwide Premier

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Worldwide Premier took place yesterday evening at the Odeon Leicester Square, London and I was lucky enough to have been invited to attend alongside my fellow Shots members Ali Karim, Mike Stotter and Chris Simmons of Crime Squad. One must give thanks to Lucy Ramsay of Quercus Books (his UK publishers) for inviting us.

There are of course remakes that work well and remakes that do not. One also sometimes wonders why they bother to make remakes. In the case of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, it is clear that some people will like it and some will not. I am going to say from the start that I enjoyed it. Nevertheless, I did have problems with it.

From the start, one can see that no expense has been spared, from the opening credits and scenes, which I admit reminded me of a sci-fi film was dark, metallic and full of flourishes. The score at the start was also just as powerful. The cinematography was wonderful. The excellent sharp visuals, the faultless design, the instinctive ability for melding sound and music, the chill and menace is what one has come to expect from a Fincher film. If you have seen the original films then you will be able to follow the film quite easily. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is stylishly filmed and the photography is outstanding, it is at times especially at the start quite bleak. The film does not however hold back. Compared to the original the blood and gore is not as graphic. The violent sex scenes are still there but they are in my opinion done a lot more subtly. They are still there but unlike in the Swedish version I did not feel the need to want to cover my eyes as some of it took place. Rooney Mara is good as Elisabeth Salander. Hollywood seemed to have used Noomi Rapace as a template. My only gripe is that the hairstyle that they gave her was awful. It did not suit her at all and in fact detracted from the rather good acting. She may not have replaced the original actor as well as she could have but she did a very good job. In my opinion, she came across as a lot harder than Noomi Rapace. But this is her film. Daniel Craig on the other hand was for me a disappointment. He was not Mikael Blomkvist. The original actor who played the character in the Swedish version was much better. Rather sadly, I kept on seeing Bond in his actions and his demeanour all the way through the film. Whilst he was not brash, arrogant or over the top as he sometimes comes across in the Bond films this time around he is diffident, understated, even back pedaling. Nevertheless, one could not dismiss that Bondish attitude especially at a critical moment in the film towards the end. There was a seediness about the original actor that was missing from Craig. He doesn't divulge much that's going on inside him beyond what's already called for on the outside. Christopher Plummer who plays Henrick was good. Unpretentious but well played. There are various bits of the film that have been changed but they certainly do not detract from what is the essence of the film from the book and the original Swedish version. One big change is the ending. No, I am not going to say what it is. Go and see it instead.

My opinion is if you have seen the Swedish version and enjoyed them then please do go and see the Hollywood remake. I was (and still am) a big fan of the original films as it was thus with a slight sense of trepidation and anticipation that I attended the premier. Would I go and see the other two remakes if they are done? Yes, I would if only to compare them to the original Swedish version. Would I get them on DVD? No but I would get the original Swedish versions instead notwithstanding the subtitles.

1 comment:

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Thanks for your comments. I loved all three of the Swedish films and am anxious to see this one. It will be interesting to compare the two.