Sunday, January 15, 2012

"The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo"

Okay, so... I decided I'll be taking a break with my end of the year bonanza, but only temporarily. Why?

Well, I had some minor catching up to do for some releases that came out at the end of the year. So here we are.

And what are we talking about?

Sexual violence, of course. Let's take it away with today's movie!

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) is a disgraced journalist who gets contacted by Henrik (Christopher Plummer) to look into the mysterious disappearance/possible murder of his grand-niece Harriet. Mikael thus comes over to a different part of Sweden to investigate, where he eventually enlists the help of teen hacker extraordinaire Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara) to find out what happened to Harriet.

This is... a very interesting movie. It's a thriller, of course, which requires great pacing all on its own. In that... it's kind of iffy. On the one hand, the murder mystery that occupies almost the whole film is intriguing and very well-plotted, but on the other, when the murder mystery is done the movie limps to its final shot for a little over ten minutes too long. Uneven pacing issues like this drag the film down, but the parts that do work really work. And thankfully, we get more parts that work than parts that don't work, which means that the movie is a tense, very arresting movie. Well, that is, while the murder mystery is still going on.

And this movie is also harsh and uncompromising in every sense. There's something to be said about the fact that this movie's story has tons of sexual violence in it, and in this regard this movie takes no prisoners. Graphic depictions of rape, uncompromising angles of talking about the act... it's all so tightly controlled that in some bizarre way every element works to its advantage.

And that's something I think goes for the performances. It's clear that director David Fincher has got tight control in the acting in this movie, and it works exactly how it should. Daniel Craig is of course very good as Blomkvist, though the fact that his British accent stood out amidst a sea of false-Swedish accents was a little distracting at times. Stellan Skarsgard as the main bad guy works wonderfully as the villain, giving an understated performance while waiting for just the right time to rear his ugly head. And as for Rooney Mara, I'll only say this: she's come a looooooooooooooooong way from when she starred in the abysmal Nightmare on Elm Street remake with the star-making role of Lisbeth.

So with a reasonably good plot, excellent acting, and an uncompromising vision, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is a very good movie. Is it great? I don't think so: there are severe pacing issues with the third act that means that the movie kind of overstays its welcome. But when it works, it really works.


Most definitely worth checking out.

This is Herr Wozzeck Reviews. I'll see you guys next time.

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