'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'
The girl with the dragon tattoo is a pierced, goth-clad, computer-hacking investigator. A similar description could be made of Abby on TV’s NCIS, but Lisabeth Salendar (Rooney Mara) is different in every way. Resembling Marilyn Manson’s twisted sister, her hauntingly deadpan facial expressions are anything but dispassionate,
This is a grittier, more advanced procedural than what we’ve seen to date. Based on a trilogy by Swedish author Stieg Larsson, libeled journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) investigates the disappearance of a wealthy woman from four decades prior. In the midst of arctic blizzards near Stockholm, this is a most challenging “cold” case. The Swedes have an old saying, “What is hidden in the snow, comes forth in the thaw.”
Family patriarch Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer) describes the thieves and detestable people who share his private “Shutter” island – his extended family. “Soon you’ll know us all too well, with my apologies.” Plummer masterfully sets the premise of the plot, Craig executes as a professionally wounded reporter and Mara offers the liberating resilience of a misunderstood and societal oppressed individual. In the process, there could be more discovered than anyone expected.
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” is 158 minutes and rated R for brutal violence including rape, graphic nudity, torture and language. The rating reflects these sick and sadistic minds. Mikael sums it up, “Rape, torture, fire, animals, religion, did I miss anything?” It explains Martin’s conclusion, “The fear of offending is stronger than the fear of pain.”
The Swedish version of this film was just released in 2009, but no ABBA music in that one either. Director David Fincher (“Social Network”) offers an intelligent, unsettling and sordid thriller that respects the maturity of its audience. Writer Larsson dwells on the brutality and inhumanity of the Bible verses in Leviticus 20. But the leather-clad biker-girl should feel comforted that even Joshua’s Triumph was heard throughout the land.