Over the break the husband and I were determined to get in a movie, and we both wanted to see this one. The timing was perfect with the low traffic in the mall and our early bird viewing times.
First of all, I hadn’t read any of the books or seen the original films prior to watching it, but the trailer had me hooked. Seriously, I still have “Immigrant Song” going through my head and the shot of the snowy mansion was too appealing to miss. The movie stars Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgård and Robin Wright. It was directed by David Fincher, who also directed The Social Network — also with Mara in the cast, although she’s completely unrecognizable as the same person.
The story is catching from the start, with disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Craig) lured into hiding out in the wilds of Sweden by Henrik Vanger (Plummer) on the pretense of writing a history of his industrialist family. In truth, he wants Blomkvist to solve a 40-year-old mystery involving the disappearance of his niece Harriet. Blomkvist, not in any hurry to get back to the mess of his normal life, decides to accept. His potential reward is large sums of money and the possibility of getting information on his nemesis Wennerström, who sued him for libel and won.
In parallel, we learn about Lisbeth Salander (Mara) who is a genius researcher and also has an extremely troubled life. I really liked how Fincher wove these storylines with intersections, but always as separate threads until they collide. Salander’s story is very unpleasant as it unfolds, and there’s some serious misogyny and brutally that can be excruciating to watch. But nothing felt gratuitous and all provided insight into who this woman is. She’s incredibly compelling even when being extremely unlikable.
Once Blomkvist and Salander team up, the story picks up the pace and resolves both the historical mystery as well as all the modern day story lines. The movie is 158 minutes and none of it felt too long or unnecessary. The performances were stellar and the setting was beautiful and haunting. I highly recommend checking this one out and I’ve added the original 3 movies to my Queue to compare (and because I can’t wait to see more).