I went to see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo yesterday, even though this is not the type of film that I really like. I am more of a Merchant Ivory films kind of person — I enjoy films like Howard’s End and The Remains of the Day. I have been reading about The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo for a couple of years now. And I finally decided to see what all the fuss is about. The film is based on a book by Stieg Larson entitled Men Who Hate Women, which has sold over 50 million copies world wide. Fortunately, the title was changed for the movie, or people would be staying away in droves. The movie title is much more intriguing and it has a nice ring to it. Actually, a better title would be “The Revenge of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.”
Daniel Craig plays the male lead in the movie, which made me think that this was going to be some kind of a James Bond flick, which I would not like. Boy, was I wrong! The movie is very complex and it is very fast paced. It might be hard for some people to understand without some background information, so I am going to give a short synopsis of the story.
Daniel Craig plays the part of a journalist who is asked by an wealthy Swedish industrialist (played by Christopher Plummer) to write his biography. The journalist, Mikael Blomkvist, has gotten the industrialist’s attention because he (Blomkvist) was in the news after he had disgraced himself some way. What the Swedish tycoon really wants is for Blomkist, an investigative journalist, to find out what happened to his great-niece Harriet over 40 years ago. The whole family lives on a private island in Sweden and Christopher Plummer’s character suspects that Harriet was murdered by someone in the family. But first, the Swedish industrialist hired a computer hacker, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,” to check the background of the journalist. As Daniel Craig’s character (the journalist) begins work on the investigation of the supposed murder of the niece, he hires “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” to be his research assistant. Eventually, the journalist and his assistant become lovers, although the journalist already has a girl friend, played by Robin Wright, who is also his editor.
The part of “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” is played by Rooney Mara; her name in the movie is Lisbeth Salander. She is a young girl, who is a ward of the state in Sweden; her case worker is one of the “Men who hate Women.” There is a horrible scene of sexual violence and a later scene where “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” gets her revenge. Rooney Mara previously played the part of the dissatisfied girlfriend in the movie The Social Network. When she first meets Daniel Craig in the movie, her first words are “Don’t touch me, or I will …..” Actually, Daniel Craig plays the part of a nice guy in the movie; he wouldn’t do anything like the caseworker did.
I give the movie a thumbs up. The opening credits are spectacular. Rooney Mara gives an outstanding performance, as does Daniel Craig. This is a great movie, but not for the kiddies, except maybe to teach boys not to rape a girl who has a dragon tattoo. The movie has a surprise ending, which I guessed right from the start, because I am a suspicious person by nature.