terça-feira, janeiro 24, 2012

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011)


I never knew where I stood regarding remakes until I saw this one. Before my last time at a cinema, I was neither in favor or against it... Sometimes I would think to myself that certain projects were totally unnecessary, others I would be curious, while very few I would think they were worth it. This last scenario describes accurately my assumption regarding the American remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011).

Based on a novel by Stieg Larsson, this would be the first of a trilogy, later adapted into three Swedish movies to which I saw every single one. The first I saw at my local cinema, while the other two I saw it at home.

I can honestly say I was really impressed with all three of them, but especially with the first! For it's plot, organized and interesting narrative... for it's intensive and thrilling twists and turns and also the wonderful cast! It would be fair as to say it wouldn't make any sense to watch a remake when I had so much fond memories of the original, however, being the remake a project in the helms of master David Fincher, it was very hard for me to resist. Plus, it would be a very good exercise to compare one with another, knowing they had very little time separating one from the other. I found this to be a big mistake... But I'll get to that later.

Comparing both first episodes of Larsson's trilogy, it is in my opinion that the Swedish is by far the best one. There isn't one single aspect that Fincher's take would have something to say better than the original. He adds nothing!

I suspected I would be disappointed after watching the introduction generic. It felt awkward... Can't quite really explain, but something felt wrong. Was it cheesy? Was it too much of twirls of an animated sequence? Was the soundtrack not suited? I don't know... But I was sure that my eyes didn't like what they were seeing!

After that, I began to take notice of all that it was different and drawing my conclusions to ether or not these were justified.
Even though the movie is all spoken in English, the story settings remain the same. This lead to Fincher (or the producers) deciding to have the actors to do an effort on making a Swedish accent. 

Although understandable, it just didn't work (for me at least).
I would rather move the action to somewhere in the States and change the characters names... But be it as it may, this was hardly the big issue around the movie..

There are a lot of plot changes, really big ones at that... Stuff that I can't mentioned to avoid giving away information... but trust me! Heavy stuff was either ignored or distorted!
If asked what was the biggest thing for me, to which I was more disappointed... I would have to say the casting, with special regard to the lead character, Lisbeth Salander.

Rooney Mara, who had worked previously with Fincher in The Social Network (2010), did a major effort to follow the steps of Noomi Rapace. Even with her performance being commendable, it was still just not at the same level as the Swedish actress, mostly because she presents a younger and more fragile image than Noomi, who on the other hand, shows herself more as a tougher woman.
Basically this point comes down to "Woman vs. Girl". That's not all of it, but it pretty much sums up one of the biggest differences you'll see when watching the new version and that just takes part of the interest. The viewers need Lisbeth Salander to be aggressive and fearless... capable of taking down anyone! And I'll be honest... I did not think of Mara as a model or anything like that. It was like she was completely anonymous and I was judging her performance without considering none of her background (therefore, no preconceived ideas before-hand).

I would say that most of you are better off watching the Swedish films if you can fight the language barrier and deal with the subtitles... because this American remake, to put it mildly, is is just a lighter and duller version.
I can only assume by seeing so many Swedish names in the list of producers that this movie was intended to promote their country and commerce through a wider recipient... You can tell that, for them, this is a golden opportunity.... Ikea, Nokia, SweAuto are just a few (Swedish) brands in a never-ending list of product placement.

Just so we are clear... You can still get satisfied with Fincher's work.... It's not bad at all...on the contrary! But having in mind the source material and the first movie adaptation, this one feels so overrated - even more considering the reviews and iMDB score are so good, something that for me doesn't do justice at all!

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