Saturday, 5 May 2012
Film Review – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
There was a book, a brilliant book, called The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and written by Stieg Larsson. Then there were some films made in 2009, Swedish films and in Swedish, based upon the book, they were pretty good. Maybe not classics but watchable, at least if you were a fan of the book.
Then there comes the new 2011 American film directed by David Fincher. What can we say about that?
In a word: disappointing.
The overwhelming feeling of this film is its perpetual drabness. The look, the scenery, the acting, the music, it's all nauseatingly drab. One drab scene is heaped upon another and more drabness added until your just sick of the… well… sick of the drabness. The main characters are drab and unconvincing. And the camera work, well its just sickeningly drab. The whole film looks as if it was shot in a disused Russian Gulag and has about as much sex appeal.
I wonder if the film makers have ever visited Sweden, or indeed Europe for that matter. I suppose they must have but there's no evidence of this in the film; none whatsoever. It looks like they have shot this film in a mud hut as you get no idea of the expanse or beauty of Sweden or the majesty of cold weather. Instead we have a perpetual feeling of claustrophobia. Hence this film starts off missing an essential backdrop to the narrative.
Noomi Rapace in the 2009 Swedish version was a believable Salander. Maybe not quite as I imagined this marvellous character after reading the book but plausible. In this film the part is played by Rooney Mara who is just dull, in fact there's not more to her acting then dullness, apart, that is, from long tiresome multitudes of drabness.
In the 2009 Swedish version Michael Nyqvist was an acceptable Mikael Blomkvist; well, just about. Whereas here Daniel Craig shows all the acting ability of a yawn and is just about as engaging. (I'm led to believe, or I assume, Mr Craig has some sort of reputation. Maybe he has, I'm not an expert on trashy celebrity hype, nor do I want to be, it's a subject that's totally uninteresting, and on the basis of this film a subject I'm really not bothered about exploring.)
Then there's the more minor characters who we'd better not say anything about; they prove even more disappointing – there's more excitement in a 50p tin of spaghetti.
Disappointing that's what it is, and I did so want to like this film.