The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Director: David Fincher
Cast: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgård, Steven Berkoff, Robin Wright, Yorick van Wageningen, Joely Richardson
A discredited journalist Mikael Blomkvist is hired by a wealthy magnate to investigate the disappearance of his 16-year-old niece 40 years earlier. Blomkvist, assisted by the troubled computer hacker Lisbeth Salander, discovers a gruesome cycle of violence against women. The Scandinavian adaptation of the first book in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy was a smash hit across Europe. David Fincher’s version follows two years later and seems completely superfluous. It remains faithful to the source material with all of its structural problems, but comes short in authenticity when the international cast speaks English in a colourful array of accents. Fincher, famous for his masterful visual storytelling, cannot make the proceedings any more cinematic than Niels Arden Oplev. The second viewing of the same material does, however, reveal the shortcomings of Larsson’s writing. His characterisation is all over the place and his story clears Sweden of rapists, serial killers and corrupt businessmen with implausible ease.