|Mara Rooney and Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander|
Admirably, the makers of the American version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011) figured out that they weren't going to make all the Nazi stuff play unless the setting remained in Northern Europe. (Although, when, in 1982, I bought the house in Northern New Jersey that I still live in today, the garage had stacks of KKK and Nazi Bund literature which I disposed of in an hysterical panic, fearing bad mojo for the house I had bought. Today I wish I had turned over at least a few copies to the town Historical Society--especially since we are probably one of the most liberal towns in the US.) The cold, the isolation, the dark history, all would be tough to translate.
By and large, if one has seen the Swedish film, there are few surprises or novelties in David Fincher's remake. It is disappointing to see who slavishly Fincher adheres to the Charlie Chan rule, whereby, the best known second-tier star in the film is always the perpetrator. Here, Stellan Skarsgard has to be the villain, because he's the only supporting actor I've heard of. Oddly, given the international cast here, he's not as convincing at being Swedish as many of the others.
Here's the only reason to spend two-and-a-half-hours on this still-sloppy-mess of a plot -- Mara Rooney as Lisbeth Salander. Where as Noomi Rapace was certainly ferocious and strangely beautiful enough, even with the language barrier, I could feel the calculation in her performance. Mara Rooney is clearly far more professionally accomplished simply because she never gave the impression she was acting. She almost seemed to shy from the camera. It is astonishing how unattractive, physically and morally, she was willing to be, especially when you realize that she was the rather pretty and bright girl that Jesse Eisenberg blew off in the first scene of The Social Network.
|If Zuckerberg had been nicer, maybe she wouldn't |
have become a crazy Swedish hacker
It concerns me that Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross who did such counter-intuitive yet effective work on Social Network created such a New-Wave-Mickey-Mouse score for Dragon Tattoo, telegraphing plot points and emotions. I presume that they and Fincher have picked up nice paychecks on this little effort and will soon return to more personal and characteristic work. On the other hand, David Fincher has signed for a biopic of Steve Ross to be written by Aaron Sorkin, so perhaps there is more deja vu in our filmgoing future.