Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo - USA Style!

Original Lisbeth, Noomi Rapace 2009
USA Remake 2011
Seriously? The US is trying to redo the already insanely awesome movie adaptation from Stieg Larsson's first book in his Millennium Series The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo? I have to say that I was not impressed at hearing this. I have not only read the book and am working on book 3, but I have watched all three of the movies that have been made from the books already, in Swedish.

Yes, this movie has been made before back in 2009, and with amazingly well done cinematic performances by Michael Nyqvist (Mikael Blomkvist) and Noomi Rapace (Lisbeth Salander), and easy to follow subtitles. I fell deep into the twists and folds of the dramatically thrilling tale of Lisbeth's life. Her character became someone I wanted to know more about. After watching the first movie, I was drawn in so much that I bought the first two books.

Larsson portrays women as strong and independent in a world dominated by men and their ego. He gives women, namely his lead character Lisbeth, guts, courage, perseverance, elegance, intellect, and raw emotional strength. In fact, the book's title in his native language is actually Men Who Hate Women. I think the full title should be 'Men Who Hate Women - And The Women Who Kick Their Asses!'

A movie can never wholly tell the story that a book can. Also, a book inspires one's own imagination and surely an actor cannot compete with what happens in someone's  mind for a character's likeness. Well, I was wrong on that. Noomi helped round out the character of Lisbeth for me and when I read the book, I could see her face and her actions. Although, in the book she seemed a bit more talkative than in the movies. Maybe it was because we could get inside her head a little more as a reader than just an observer.

Either way, I was not impressed, like I said, when I heard the US was going to get in on a remake of the book as well. There was so much in the visual grit of the Swedish version of this story that I didn't think would make it to a US film. I thought somehow they would play down the violence and rape that the story hinges on. Apparently this will not be so. They are endeavoring to make this as gruesome as the story tells it.

"That’s just not right, ... Lisbeth Salander is not about suffering! She is not Jesus! She is about vengeance!” David Fincher, the director of the American version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo said on set after seeing that the blood on the hands of the actress playing Lisbeth (Rooney Mara) looked more like a stigmata than a messy reflection of the atrocity that the blood came from. Wmagazine's  Lynn Hirschberg was on set to take a behind the scenes look at the making of what MGM Studio is calling "The Feel Bad Movie of Christmas." And I am preparing to be blown away!

Fincher, who has directed other coarse and abrasive films such as Fight Club, The Panic Room, Se7en, and Zodiac, has also done The Social Network, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button that weren't so gritty but beautifully done works. With the preview trailer the studio has put out, I am really looking forward to the texture and grit of what I feel is the true atmosphere that the books and the original Swedish films portray. See for yourself:

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