The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

As I think I’ve mentioned earlier we went to the movies on Christmas Day to see The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, the US version. I read the books by Stieg Larsson some years ago and I’ve also watched the original Swedish movie, so I was very curious to see what this would be like.

This English-language adaptation of the Swedish novel by Stieg Larsson follows a disgraced journalist, Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig), as he investigates the disappearance of a wealthy patriarch’s niece from 40 years ago. He is aided by the pierced, tattooed, punk computer hacker named Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara). As they work together in the investigation, Blomkvist and Salander uncover immense corruption beyond anything they have ever imagined.
Written by Anonymous

I thought it was a good movie and I liked it for what it was, a cool action/drama film with lots of sex and violence. It really is well-made and thrilling and flashy and all that – but with the Swedish version in the back of my head this felt waaaay to much “Hollywood” for me.

I can’t help but compare the two versions, and while the Swedish movie didn’t have nearly as much action and effects it had more grey realism, and by being more realistic it felt much more grim and disturbing.
Or maybe it’s just that I’m Swedish myself and that’s why it, by nature, feels closer to home than anything Hollywood can come up with?

With that said, Rooney Mara was excellent as Lisbeth Salander! Her appearance is exactly the way I had pictured Lisbeth in my head. Noomi Rapace who played in the Swedish movies was great too, and I kinda liked her performance better, but she’s a bit too… I don’t know, pretty I guess. No matter how they dress her up and how much make-up they slap on her face they can’t hide that she’s a breathtaking beauty, and while reading the books I imagined Lisbeth to be a bit on the ugly side. I can’t choose between them to be honest, they both play the role to perfection. Different, but perfect.
Daniel Craig was also a bit more charismatic than Michael Nyqvist who played the Swedish Mikael Blomkvist. Altough it was a little embarrassing that he couldn’t pronounce his characters name properly :oops:

Noomi to the left - Rooney to the right.

Now, I’m curious to know why they decided to make the movie like this when there’s already a Swedish version? I would’ve understood it if they had taken the plot and the characters and moved it to the US. If they had changed the names and settings and made a truly Americanized version with American characters and places – but this way, with all the Swedish names and places still intact (and it’s even filmed in Sweden), I can’t help but wonder if the only reason they made the movie was a) money and/or b) so that the American audience wouldn’t have to bother with the subtitles..?

Comments

  1. 11 January 2012

    I’ve read the books, except for the third one which I haven’t gotten around to yet, and I just watched the first Swedish film on Netflix. I thought it was so perfect and it translated the book so well onscreen that I’m very apprehensive about the American version. I’m definitely going to see it, but I just hope it’s half as good as the Swedish one. It does make you wonder if Hollywood was just out to make money. I’m sure that had something to do with it. They’ll try to capitalize on anything that’s popular, but moviegoers, myself included, always eat it up so we can’t really blame them.

  2. 12 January 2012

    I haven’t seen either version, or read the books. Everyone is saying I’d at least enjoy the books and the original film. I do have to admit I think they did it for the money – they’re trying to make the cash they lost since low box office sales. Subtitles bother some people, but not me – I LOVE foreign films.

  3. 13 January 2012

    I believe it was for both reasons, but mainly for money…and probably because American movie companies hate being “scooped” on movies :P

  4. 13 January 2012

    I really want to see the US version! I read the books and watched the original Swedish version too. I also thought it was weird that they made another version, but then I saw Daniel Craig in it and was excited. In terms of looks, he’s more of how I imagined Blomkvist to be like :)

  5. 14 January 2012

    This is to answer your question in the last paragraph: Now, I’m curious to know why they decided to make the movie like this when there’s already a Swedish version?

    Lack of ideas. Don’t you notice that hollywood keeps on remaking films that don’t need to be remake at all? They lack ideas so the easy way to make films is to remake a) foreign films or b) old films

    And the original is always better! I haven’t read the book or watch the Swedish version but I can tell that the Swedish version would be so much better than the hollywood version. I know I shouldn’t always assume that original versions would always be better but that is always the case with me!

    For example, Martin Scorsese’s The Departed is the remake of a Hong Kong film named Infernal Affairs. I watched both and I always feel that Infernal Affairs is better than the Departed. Why? Because as you said, it felt too “Hollywood”.

    I watched the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo two weeks ago and it is good. But I want to watch the Swedish version just to see whether I could confirm my hypothesis: original film is always better than the remake. ^_^

    • 27 January 2012

      Yes, I’ve definitely noticed the increasing numbers of remakes :glare: Look at the Spiderman trilogy for example… How lulzy isn’t that?

      I agree that originals are usually better, I always try to watch the orginal movies myself if possible. It can be really interesting to watch originals and remakes and compare them though. Like we’re doing now with this movie :)

  6. 16 January 2012

    Oh, it’s all about money. Most Americans will not go seek out foreign movies and would probably not have even realized that one already existed if there wasn’t a big Hollywood blockbuster that just came out just following the hit of the books in the states. It’s sad, really, because I’m sure the Sweedish film was great. Quite often original versions of films are much better. I’ll probably end up watching it myself. I’m almost done with all the books and I’d like to watch both movies, too.

  7. 17 January 2012

    I tended to like the Swedish version more myself, but I think Noomi’s Salander came off as more callous, the way I pictured Lisbeth as when I read the novels. Although I do agree that Rooney DID look more like the Lisbeth I pictured in my head.

    I’m not sure if the US will continue and complete the trilogy though. The information (as far as if they will or won’t make the movies) is probably out there in the internet ether already, I just haven’t looked. :blush:

  8. 17 January 2012

    I haven’t seen any f the versions yet. But some people who saw both of the versions told me that the Swedish one was better, and the Americans just stole it like they do to Japanese movies.
    I totally should go and see myself >_>

  9. 22 January 2012

    It’s a combination of the two reasons you listed. Money, and subtitles. Americans in general hate subtitles, which means the movie won’t make as much money as a movie without subtitles, which means they’d make more money by investing in a subtitle-free movie.

    I’m boycotting the American version on principle, but I’m weird and do pointless things like that.

  10. 23 January 2012

    Oh, I’d say definitely both reasons. Money, of course, and you know us Americans are very lazy… a lot of us don’t like to read when we’re at the movies :P Personally, I don’t mind subtitles, but I know a lot of people who hate them. I haven’t seen either version yet ^_^

    • 27 January 2012

      And I’ve been reading subtitles my whole life, haha :P Imagine how different it can be depending on where you grow up. Here most of the TV shows and movies are imported from other countries so we have subtitles on just about everything.

  11. 25 January 2012

    I’m guessing it was for the money. They still make American versions of British tv shows and they didn’t feel the need to make English versions of Amelie or La Vie En Rose, which I loved and didn’t mind reading the subtitles. Personally, I don’t mind. I haven’t seen either version yet but I will try watching both.

  12. 26 January 2012

    I personally never understood why they remade such a good swedish film, but I also felt like that about Let The Right One In! :sick: Both fantastic originals.

    • 27 January 2012

      I haven’t watched any version of Let The Right One In yet! Don’t know if I’d dare to be honest… :oops: ;) I have read the book though and that was scary enough…

  13. 26 January 2012

    I would like to see both versions. Interesting ;)

  14. 27 January 2012

    I have seen both movies and I enjoyed both. Sure they both have their great parts, but they are both different too. I watched the swedish one with english dubs because I really dislike reading subtitles in a movie. I agree that hollywood made the movie to make money and for the lazy people (like me) who don’t like subtitles. But both are great, as I said. They changed the storyline a bit in the hollywood one, and it worked out, which was good. Rooney Mara has been nominated for an oscar for her performance and I think it is well deserved :D