THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO (2011)--Directed by David Fincher/Starring Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara/screenplay written by Steven Zaillian from the Stieg Larsson novel, Män som hatar kvinnor/The Man Who Hated Women/rated R/2hrs40mins
(B) Had the original film been in English it would have surpassed the new version for me. The distraction of subtitles takes away some of the viewer’s concentration. In spite of that, I preferred the cast of the Swedish version. Everything seemed more real to me, the set direction, art direction even the more haggard and sloppy looking journalist’s look. I am not saying the performances of the English cast were not good. They were. However, either way the film is worth seeing. Stieg Larsson’s novel is great material, and a great story is always worth watching. I will let you be the judge this time around and pick your version. I give this version three bifocals.
(G) I saw both versions of this film. As compared to the Swedish version, there were many aspects of this film that I liked (the story and characters are perfect for the screen, for instance) but there are parts that I did not enjoy as well. Let’s start with the credits. Pah-leeeeease! What kind of nonsense was that? Who authorized this waste of my time and the increased cost of production to create opening credits that are completely out of synch with the tone, purpose and style of the film, script and especially the original novel? Film production is the art of totality. The director has the ultimate responsibility for every detail that the viewer sees. This includes, these days, the opening credits. This series was never conceived as a female version of Ian Fleming’s James Bond. You don’t have to compete with the opening credits of those films, either. Unfortunately these weird credits put me in a bad frame of mind to watch the film that I was out-the-gate already predisposed to compare to both the novel and the previous subtitled version, which I loved. Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig are both fine, but I still preferred the original screen versions for all the reasons that I gave in that review two years ago. I don’t think anything was added by Anglicizing or Hollywoodizing the story, except my (monolingual) ability to slide effortlessly from one character to another because I could concentrate on the dialogue and visual cues simultaneously. A remake of this story, so close upon the heels of a relatively successful European production, may have been a miscalculation on the part of the producers. The original, by the way was made for a mere fraction of the cost of the updated English version feature. The main problem for me was that unfavorable comparisons were too easily made, because the original is still fresh in my mind. Regardless, this was not a remake of the Swedish film. It was, in some instances a modernized retelling of the original story. This is evident to the discerning eye, in such seemingly minor details as the use of Macintosh computers by the two investigators. They were able to share immediate (and ultimately pertinent) information with one another due to Apple’s iCloud and the cloud-based application “Pages” which were, featured heavily in this film. Obviously neither product could have been in the original novel. I give this one 2 and ½ binoculars and recommend it only if you didn’t see, or are afraid to see the European, sub-titled version.