Kids, you asked for it. Just saying…
First, let me start with this……….I LOVED the books. It took me some time to get into the first one, but then I just devoured them. It’s always a little hard for me to watch a movie made from a book I adored……the details aren’t right, the characters aren’t as I pictured them, and I’m so concentrated on the ‘back story’ that one often doesn’t get with a film (especially if I’m watching WITH someone who hasn’t read the book), that I tend to have a hard time NOT explaining things the whole time. And then, you have the inevitable plot changes that accompany the ‘book-to-movie’ deal, and those always piss me off, no matter how necessary…..
The gist, overall, I suppose, is this………I’m a movie nut. I love them. That’s always going to be swaying me to the side of being positive about any film. So, here goes.
In this remake, I liked Daniel Craig as Blomkvist, and I was relatively surprised by that fact….he was able to put more vulnerability into the role than I’d have suspected he was capable of, although it seems to me that care was taken to NOT allow the character to be too ‘unsympathetic’, as evidenced by the lack of his involvement with Cecelia in the film. With his becoming involved with Salander, and already obviously involved with Erika, it might have been too much for the viewing public to accept, and still allow him the ‘heroic’ role. To be honest, although Blomkvist is the protagonist in the series, I often found, while reading, that I wasn’t entirely sure that I liked him. Characterization in films is usually more black and white, so I wasn’t too surprised by that turn….
I adored…….let me say again, ADORED Rooney Mara as Salander. Again, I wasn’t sure that I would, at first. I’m not certain that my initial judgments on her portrayal weren’t colored by my having read ALL THREE books already……..but at first, it seemed to me that she was far too ‘don’t look at me, I’m invisible’……I didn’t like it. Reading the series, you come to know Lisbeth Salander as well as any other person COULD know her, and most of that knowing comes from extrapolation and intuition, mined mostly from details of her behavior. She’s meant to be almost unknowable, and then with our continued exposure to her character, to become, not so much transparent, but to become a reflective character, our ending perception of her dependent on the reader’s ability to empathize and draw conclusions about her character based on what we discover are her well-deservedly tangled motivations.
That said, as the film progressed, I was able to see some character movement on Mara’s part………..the ’opening up’ of Lisbeth Salander, and realized that, yeah…..without the backup of words on page, it had to be difficult to translate this particular character to film.
I won’t go on and on, kids, I promise…………Overall, I enjoyed the film, possibly because I love movies in general, and it has to be pretty darn bad for me to NOT watch and like.
In a nutshell, here’s my opinion: The film treated the original work fairly well……not too many horrific plot deviations (although enough for me to wiggle in my seat, until I could say out loud, “THAT’S not what REALLY happened“, to the hubs). I was able to ’believe in’ the two main protagonists, Blomkvist and Salander, so that didn’t constantly distract me from the action and conversation. Because I’d read the books, I’m not too sure of how well the various conflicts and details were explained……….and I explained them to the hubs, so he wouldn’t be unnecessarily distracted by NOT knowing. I did NOT like the plot change that involved Harriet’s final reveal. Obviously, Christopher Plummer was amazing, and his just being IN the film gave it more cache….
One thing that I DIDN’T like, or understand……….the gratuitous footage at the beginning of the film, during the opening credits. Not that I have anything against the footage itself…….it was extremely creative, well shot, well edited………I’m not entirely sure what the point of the whole sequence was. Lisbeth Salander does, yes, live in a kind of fringe culture…….but nothing like what that first montage suggests. Unless the montage was meant to symbolize the serial killings we later learn about? To me, it was a stretch, and gave an uninitiated viewer an entirely unrealistic idea of exactly what type of film they were about to see. In my opinion, gratuitous.
Overall, I’d give the film a B, if I had any supported ability to actually ‘grade’ movies………LOL!
Maybe it’s a good thing I’ve never been tapped for this sort of thing? Probably.