Thursday, August 18, 2011

Girl with the Dragon Tattoo....wait a minute.

Confession: I have not read Stieg Larsson's ridiculously popular Millennium Trilogy (probably for that reason), though I've seen people reading it on subways galore and I've watched all three Swedish films. Since I have not devoured the actual pages, I suppose I can't be too much of a purist, but whenever Hollywood decides to puts its flashy stamp on a foreign film I enjoy, I can't help but feel defensive. I mean, is it that difficult to read subtitles and to expose yr ears to another language? Tisk tisk, America.

Anyway, the three Swedish films are absolutely killer (ha!), particularly The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (as the trilogy continues, the storylines get more and more far-fetched). Noomi Rapace was perfect as Lisbeth Salander --- the antisocial, bisexual, goth-punk-tattooed computer hacker with a devastating past and fearless, icy demeanor. In David Fincher's version of the trilogy, the role of Lisbeth goes to Rooney Mara who, incidentally, is the first cousin of my sister's first boyfriend. New York is a small world.

Now, I respect David Fincher as a director, and of course I am thrilled that Trent Reznor is doing the score, but I really doubt that the American makeover is a) necessary or b) in any way better than what Sweden already successfully offered. Nor am I thrilled about Mara as Lisbeth. Nothing against her, but if I had been directing said film, I would have gone for a girl who was more...hardcore. Reportedly, Mara's "long brown hair was cut short and dyed black, in a style reminiscent of 1970s punk and 1980s goth fashion. She also had each of her ears pierced four times, and had her lip, brow, nose, and nipple pierced for the role. Her eyebrows were bleached, and she wears a temporary dragon tattoo." She also had to learn how to skateboard and ride a motorcycle.

Here's my feeling about all this...isn't it possible to find a chick who already has piercings and is legitimately involved in the sort of underground subculture of the character? I get that this is a movie and that Mara Rooney is (method) acting, and maybe I'm just sensitive about alternative cultures becoming exceedingly mainstream and watered down to suit the masses, but I just don't buy it...and buying into the character is pretty fuckin' important. Granted, I have not seen the film. Granted, Noomi Rapace may not have been a genuine cybergoth either. And at least the role didn't go to Kristen Stewart! But the fact remains that reading about Mara's "transformation" just makes me groan.  

 Hollywood's Lisbeth.

 Sweden's Lisbeth.

You make the choice.

1 comment:

  1. Couldn't agree with you more. When I found out they were making a new version here in the states I was interested to see how Fincher would tackle such a difficult character, but at the same time I was sort of dreading it. Being an aspiring filmmaker and actress, I did a lot of research after watching Neils Arden Oplev's version with English subtitles. It became and still is my favorite film. After watching all three Swedish films, the American "Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" and reading the first book, I decided that while Noomi veered away from the literary Lisbeth a little bit more, she gave the character that aggressive presence that Salander needed on screen. Mara on the other hand, while she was probably just going by the script, did things in the film that Lisbeth would not have done; such as asking Mikael for permission to kill Martin Vanger near the end of the American film.