The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Mary Dieng

Directed By: David Fincher

Starring: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgård, Steven Berkoff, Robin Wright, Yorick van Wageningen, and Joely Richardson

Hello movie lovers!  Your regular sober critic is busy reviewing other films in this jam-packed Christmas movie season, and I am humbly filling in the shoes of the great one.  Rest assured, to stay true to the site motto, I am writing this review while sipping a little Sangria.  When in Rome…

On to more important things…I just finished watching David Fincher’s riveting film adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s crime thriller novel, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.  Dragon Tattoo is the story of Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig), a Swedish journalist who is suffering from public disgrace after recently losing a libel lawsuit. Blomkvist is licking his wounds and trying to figure out his next career steps when he is contacted by millionaire Henrik Vanger (Christoper Plummer).  Vanger commissions Blomkvist to investigate the 1966 disappearance of his niece Harriet.  Blomkvist subsquently goes on a seemingly impossible quest to uncover the secrets of the Vanger family and the missing Harriet.

Lisbeth Salandar (Rooney Mara) is a pierced, tattooed computer hacker who works for a security company. She is a skilled researcher with a photographic memory and a knack for finding out anything and everything.  She is also, however, a social misfit—abused, jaded, abrupt and scarred by her past.  Blomkvist teams up with Lisbeth and together the two begin to unravel a 40 year old mystery.

Dragon Tattoo is spellbinding.  There are multiple storylines, and the characters are layered and compelling.  Craig does an outstanding job as a smart investigative journalist.  However, this film belongs to Mara, who is absolutely a revelation as Lisbeth.  She captures the complexity of this atypical heroine.  Lisbeth is strong, raw, funny, intelligent, vulnerable, and unpredictable all at the same time. You ache with her pain, you laugh at her wit, and you pump a fist at her badass style.  Every minute that she is on the screen, I was captivated.

The only downside to the film is that it is fairly lengthy and towards the end, you are ready for a final conclusion.  Ultimately, I hope that Fincher continues the Millenium series and the story of Lisbeth and Michael.  I have not read the books yet, but after seeing Dragon Tattoo, I am ready to download the rest of the Millenium series and read it after I finish the Game of Thrones series!  The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo gets a 0.03% rating.  You may want a little buzz to deal with some of the more disturbing scenes, but you don’t want to be tipsy because you’ll miss some things.