Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Trilogy of Swedes

Finished up watching the trilogy of movies based on author Stieg Larsson's so-called 'Millenium Trilogy'. I have not read the books, but my understanding is that the movies are a close adaptation.

These are good films. Their popularity in Sweden (and elsewhere) is understandable and warranted. The unlikely duo of characters Blomqvist and Salander is pretty compelling. And the films have enough of a european sensibility that they go places and emphasize things a Hollywood film... at least one that had a big budget and A-list stars... probably wouldn't. I don't envy the American remake's task of living up to this series.

The remake has a number of things going for it: if David Fincher stays on as director he is probably EXACTLY the guy for this material. Most of the cast (Daniel Craig as Blomqvist, yay!) attached seems suitable. Choices like keeping the location in Sweden, and getting Trent Reznor for the soundtrack... that's what I'd do! The first film (and book) The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo probably has the most disturbing material in it. Not to the levels of Fincher's Se7en, but pretty strong. So duplicating the assets of that groundbreaking modern noire might be a really good idea. Most controversy around the remake centers on Rooney Mara cast as Lisbeth Sandler. I have no experience with Mara's acting chops, but she will have her work cut out for her. Sandler in the books and Swedish films is a hardbitten cypher of a character. And while naive (austistic/Asperger's), she's a tough, capable protagonist with both computer-savvy skills and potent physicality. She can hack your files and kick your ass.

On the one hand, I'd prefer not to blow the twists and turns in Fincher's movie, but now that I've seen the originals I think thriller fans probably need to watch them now: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest.

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