Movie Review: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (David Fincher) review

By Cher Cabula - Thursday, February 02, 2012

When my friend Tom suggested that I read Steig Larsson’s Millennium trilogy, I was immediately at a bookstore after the work day and bought home a copy of the first book. He was right that I would grow to love it and the next chance I got, I bought the next two books in the series. Now I know why the novels created such a buzz and why Lisbeth Salander is considered one of the most favorite female characters last year.


I went to the premiere of the movie having already watched the Swedish version but had high hopes with the David Fincher version too. In the Swedish movie, Noomi Rapace (Madame Sim in Sherlock Holmes 2) played the role of Lisbeth and I thought she did a fantastic job. I loved it. One of the reasons why I’m eager to see the English version was I was curious to see how Rooney Mara will portray a character so opposite her in terms of looks alone. Just look at the picture below, see the transformation.


The plot remained the same and remained true to the novels as much as possible but with little deviations towards the end. Mikael Blomkvist was forced to take on an unscheduled leave from being the editor of the Millennium magazine when he had a disgraceful dismissal from the court opposite a well-known industrialist. He was then hired by Henrik Vanger to investigate the disappearance of his niece Harriett under the cover of writing about his family. In the process, Mikael enlisted the help of Lisbeth Salander and together they set about to solve the mystery while attempting to restore his credibility as well.

The best actress nod that Rooney Mara got for this role was very well-deserved. Her performance was just outstanding. The movie was dark and set in the mood just like it was in the novels. I just didn’t like the little deviation that they did with a revealing part in the climax. However, this does not distract the main message of the film and I believe this is a great introduction to the movie sequels based from the two remaining novels if they’re going to go ahead with them.


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has been given an adult-rating and is shown without cuts. So I have to give fair warning at some brutal scenes and graphic parts that are essential to the story. They can’t take those out if the viewer has to understand what makes Lisbeth Salander a heroine in her own right. If it becomes too much, you always have the option to close your eyes but I’m afraid the screams will tell you about what’s happening.

Daniel Craig’s performance was also good but completely shadowed by his co-star. Lisbeth’s character just takes over the entire screen when she’s on, you just can’t help but be entranced and mystified at what she’s capable of doing.

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Why you should be watching this movie:

  • Discover who Lisbeth Salander is and why she’s being talked about.
  • The story is compelling. There’s a lot of family history and characters to take in but once you’ve gotten through the intricate web of relations, it’s not hard to follow where the story is taking you.
  • David Fincher also got the best director nod for this movie, as well as Rooney Mara for best actress. Here you can see why they were given such prestigious nominations.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is now showing nationwide in the Phillippines without cuts. Remember that there will be brutal and violent parts. Take it from me, this is a very good movie that you shouldn’t dare miss and if you’re also a bookworm like me, the novels are well-worth checking out too.

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