Monday, December 24, 2012

The Girls With The Dragon Tattoo



Because I lacked for a while, I decided to give you a 2 in one, today, The Girls(s?) With The Dragon Tattoo. I'm just going to review the story and the what I liked about each version, which one I like more. Essentially, both versions of the film have the same narrative structure, which basically renders the remake pointless. But what we have here is the same story in the hands of 2 different directors, and if anything, is a very interesting experiment. The 2004 Exorcist prequel had a very similar situation, (1 story, 2 directors) and that ended up being a disaster, while both versions of this film are competent and tense thrillers. A man is unraveling a 40 year old mystery and a young woman, who is a mystery in itself, assists him. Both of the main characters are flawed and broken in there own way. Mikael Blomkvist, is accused of libel and loses his wages and his reputation, and Lisbeth Salander is an angry, violent, delinquent with a penchant for junk food and narcotics. While flawed, both of them are brilliant. Mikael is an outstanding journalist, and Lisbeth is a genius hacker with a photographic memory. What I really want to focus on here is the similarities/differences between the 2 films. The 2 films really are the exact same story, just a different story teller. All the major plot points are in both films, so basically the only real differences are technical and performances. I will just get this out of the way right now, I think the remake is better than the original in almost every way. There were a few exceptions that I will get to later, but overall, the cinematography was better, the lighting was better, the editing was among the best editing in a film I have seen, the overall performances were better, the unconventional score was more complimentary to the movie, and the direction was tighter. Just from the way it opens, I was more sucked into the film than the original. The original opens with a boring photo of a flower, while I understand that the photo ignites the mystery that sets the plot into motion, the intense credits with the oil covered woman is just a more exciting way to start a movie. The only thing that I liked more about the original was the girl with the dragon tattoo, Lisbeth Salander, play by the amazingly gorgeous Noomi Repace. Rooney Mara, was very good in the role, but I just liked Repace better. She came off more intense and troubled, as opposed to Mara, who felt strangely robotic. I really wouldn't want to fight Repace.
Michael Nyqvist plays Blomkvist in the original, whereas Daniel Craig plays Blomkvist in the remake. I found Daniel Craig a much more likable lead, with more personality and better chemistry with his opposite. David Fincher is just one of the best directors in the game today, and this story, at least in my opinion, is best told through his eyes. The original, while a great story, is just that, a great story. The film is nothing special apart from the performance from Repace, whereas the remake is a visual splendor. Unfortunately, the dawn of the hipsters have somewhat tarnished the opinions of people that watch cinema and feel compelled to like the original better, because "it came first". Honestly, the rape scene in the original is not more brutal. Getting brutally buttfucked is far more severe than getting punched in the head, you stupid assholes. If you have the chance to see one version of this movie, do not listen to the person who says to watch the original. This remake is a rare exception to the rule of remakes, and is a far superior film. One performance can not justify an entire film, especially one with a run time of almost 3 hours. I recommend both films, but the David Fincher version is just far better. It is not only one of the best films of 2011, (third best behind Take Shelter and Shame) but it is one of the tightest, lean and fascinating of the last few decades. Its just a shame that this version didn't come first so its reputation is damaged because of what it had to follow. And for you James Bond fans out there, here is a little James Bond trivia: Daniel Craig plays James Bond, currently, where Steven Berkoff, who played Dirch Frode in the Fincher Girl With... played General Orlov in Octopussy. So there's another reason why its better. So go check it out if you haven't, especially since its Christmas.
Oh, and another reason why its better, no fucking reading
    -L.K

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