The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

ANNIE RAFF falls in love with Daniel Craig again. There are graphic sex scenes. Non-sequitur.

18 annie raff Daniel Craig david fincher Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Hollywood Lisbeth Salander mark kermode North London Stieg Larsson sweden swedish

Directed by David Fincher


It’s slick, it’s glossy, and everyone’s good-looking: it’s a Hollywood remake of an earthy Scandinavian thriller.

Bucking the Hollywood trend, David Fincher has managed not to destroy Stieg Larsson’s original work, which centres on a washed-up journalist (Daniel Craig) who enlists a hacker (Rooney Mara) to solve a mystery.

But is this version significantly better than the original Swedish film? Visually, yes. Unlike the made-for-television Swedish effort, Fincher’s adaptation defines ‘cinematic’ and is a treat to watch.

The story moves fast, unimportant details are missed out and it is shot superbly. It takes a while to get used to Craig’s non-attempt at a Swedish accent, which the rest of the cast, Mara in particular, adopt convincingly; but this apart the film flies by seamlessly.

One notable omission is the political atmosphere so vividly described in the left-wing Larsson’s work. The film doesn’t suffer for this, but those who have read the book may be left slightly disappointed. Mara, barely recognisable from her role as Erica in The Social Network, gives a standout performance as Lisbeth Salander combining perfect amounts of vulnerability and self-assurance to create an icy yet loveable character.

The highly graphic sex scenes, earning the film its 18 certificate, are a matter of debate. The scenes are harrowing, but I think Mark Kermode’s suggestion of simply ‘turning the camera away’ is somewhat naive. The mystery to be solved relates to violence against women, and without an awareness of Salander’s past it would be hard to understand why she would take such an interest in it.

One man who is certainly not violent against women is our lead, in all his rugged, chiselled splendour. A few Bond-esque moments did occur – the opening sequence in particular – but this didn’t take away from Craig’s believability.

In fact, this film made me fall in love with Daniel all over again – for his acting abilities, of course. May I just remind you that he is now married to a North London Jewish girl who went to Cambridge?

There’s hope for me yet.