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January 2, 2019

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) --- “What Is Hidden In The Snow, Comes Forth In The Thaw… She's Coming.”

Plot Summary
Disgraced financial reporter Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) finds a chance to redeem his honor after being hired by wealthy Swedish industrialist Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer) to solve the 40-year-old murder of Vanger's niece, Harriet. Vanger believes that Harriet was killed by a member of his own family. Eventually joining Blomkvist on his dangerous quest for the truth is Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), an unusual but ingenious investigator whose fragile trust is not easily won. (1)

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Hello, Movie Buffs!
     Directed by David Fincher (Gone Girl, World War z 2), written by Steven Zaillian (Schindler’s List, Hannibal), and based on the novel, of the same name, by Stieg Larsson, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) is a nail-biting, brutal, and edge-of-your-seat thriller that will keep you in suspense until the very end. This is a must-see film that is more poised to get under your skin than most films but the end result is an unforgettable experience.

       Whether you agree with me or not, director Fincher makes good films and you’ll find it hard to come across another director that is more meticulous and intricate than Fincher. The attention to detail throughout this film is extreme. Director Fincher, along with writer Zaillian and cinematographer Jeff Cronenweth (Gone Girl), creates an unsettling atmosphere with every scene, whether its sweeping shots of a snow-covered Sweden or wonderfully haunting shots of eerie interiors. Always expect a Fincher to deliver a beautifully shot film that wisely showcases the disturbing nature of some scenes but doesn’t exploit them beyond necessary. The story actually contains two storylines – the Vanger family mystery and Lisbeth Salander – that eventually come together as one mysterious story that doesn’t back out from telling the truth. There is no such thing as sugar coating it with this film, so don’t expect there to be any. Since I saw this film knowing next to nothing about its plot, I found myself struggling to keep up with the story and characters. However, once the story reached its climax and the story came together, Fincher shed light on everything and I finally its context. I was impressed because all of a sudden, a story that once made no sense, finally did and I loved it.
     The characterization is strong and the performances are solid. Rooney Mara (Carol and Lion) delivers a knock-out performance as Lisbeth Salander and her Oscar-nomination for the role is not surprising. While her character is a bit crazy, she also has a vulnerable side that explains her crazy side. Daniel Craig (Logan Lucky and Bond 25) is great as Mikael Blomkvist. It is nice to see him play a role that is not James Bond, although he does detective work her, this role is much different than Bond. The rest of the cast is just as good: Christopher Plummer (All the Money in the World) is terrific, Stellan Skarsgård (Thor) has never been this good, Robin Wright (Wonder Woman) is impressive, and Joely Richardson (The Patriot) is top-notch.

     Overall, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) is a must-see film that is chilling, haunting, dramatic, and thrilling. The story can be confusing if you don’t know the plot but by the climax, everything comes to light. The characterizations were strong and the performances were solid. If you a fan of director Fincher’s film Gone Girl (2014) then you will enjoy this one and if you have to see the latest sequel, The Girl in the Spider’s Web (2018) then I highly recommend this film.

"It's hard to believe that the fear of offending can be stronger than the fear of pain, but you know what? It is."
- Martin Vanger

Final Vote --- 8.5 of 10 stars

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