Official Direct Thread: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Consider this your official thread for David Fincher's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. What are your favorite moments, fan theories, characters, camera moves and themes? What's your take on Fincher's take? Join us! 

Comments

  • I just wanted to say that I liked this movie, and am sad that it seems like they won't be making the rest of the trilogy.
  • akritenbrinkakritenbrink Lynnwood, WA (Seattle area)
    I liked the Swedish films better.
    Cecilyryanfoster
  • I liked the Swedish films better.


    Me too. I thought Noomi Rapace was exceptionally good in the role of Lisbeth Salander.
    akritenbrinkCecily
  • akritenbrinkakritenbrink Lynnwood, WA (Seattle area)
    I usually don't get too shook up about films not being as good as books, because a film is a 2-hour visual experience, whereas a book is a longform verbal experience, so obviously there have to be some changes and flexibility. HOWEVER... I did think that the books' Lisbeth was a different character than the films (both Swedish and American). In the books she has a sort of internal monologue or stream of consciousness that isn't represented in the films at all, so the films make her seem more mysterious and overall I thought the POV was different. The upside to this was that we didn't get all the goofy stuff with the reporter and how he was a hit with the ladies and so forth. It was just more straight up 3rd person storytelling.

    That having been said, even the American film was good. They're just really different. 
  • akritenbrinkakritenbrink Lynnwood, WA (Seattle area)

    I liked the Swedish films better.


    Me too. I thought Noomi Rapace was exceptionally good in the role of Lisbeth Salander.
    She really was. 
  • This is the Fincher film I've been least looking forward to in the series. I liked the Swedish one well enough and I don't think this one really brings anything new to the table. Though to be fair I've only seen it once and don't really remember the details. Also this is just not my kind of story so that certainly colors my opinion as well.

    I've got a couple of questions actually if anyone's got any answers or opinions.

    1. Why actually did David Fincher do this movie? I know he signed on to it before The Social Network and saw an interview or something where he and the screen writer were committed to really tackling misogyny and violence against women. But if memory serves he kind of seemed disinterested when the film came out and I don't get why he would want to make it with Swedish version already being successful. I get why Hollywood would make it, though.

    2. I know Fincher was trying to be careful in depicting the violence against Lisbeth, but I do remember people at the time being uncomfortable with the way certain scenes were shot and whether it was overly gratuitous. Like a shot of Rooney Mara's butt during the anal rape scene and whether it was actually necessary to the scene. I don't really have an opinion either way at this point as I haven't re-watched it yet and I'm not trying to stir the pot here, but I'm genuinely curious to hear people's opinions on it.
  • I still remember being able to hear a pin drop in the theater during the rape scene. Why the studio released this movie Christmas week is beyond me; if they had released it at a more strategic time we'd have a David Fincher trilogy masterpiece by now. 
  • akritenbrinkakritenbrink Lynnwood, WA (Seattle area)
    I don't see how they could have made the movie without the rape scene, though. That was such a pivotal plot point.
  • Yeah the issue I remember people being bothered about was not the the fact that there was a rape scene. It was more that some of the shots were gratuitous and were at odds with what Fincher was going for. Maybe it was just people in my social media circle and it wasn't a widespread complaint at all.
  • I usually don't get too shook up about films not being as good as books, because a film is a 2-hour visual experience, whereas a book is a longform verbal experience, so obviously there have to be some changes and flexibility. HOWEVER... I did think that the books' Lisbeth was a different character than the films (both Swedish and American). In the books she has a sort of internal monologue or stream of consciousness that isn't represented in the films at all, so the films make her seem more mysterious and overall I thought the POV was different. The upside to this was that we didn't get all the goofy stuff with the reporter and how he was a hit with the ladies and so forth. It was just more straight up 3rd person storytelling.


    That having been said, even the American film was good. They're just really different. 
    Books over movies or movies over books sounds like a great thread to start.
    DaveyMac
  • akritenbrinkakritenbrink Lynnwood, WA (Seattle area)
    DaveyMac said:

    Yeah the issue I remember people being bothered about was not the the fact that there was a rape scene. It was more that some of the shots were gratuitous and were at odds with what Fincher was going for. Maybe it was just people in my social media circle and it wasn't a widespread complaint at all.

    People will always complain about rape scenes and for very valid reasons. it's been a while since I read the books or saw the movies so correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it was quite graphic in the books too.
  • I think I preferred the American version, and I was very disappointed that they didn't continue with the series. I thought the Swedish ones seemed too low-budget and amateurish, although I liked those a lot too.
  • Man I wish I had waited to comment in this thread until after I had a re-watched the film. I found it so much more compelling this time around than I did when I saw it in the theater. Maybe I was unfairly critical of it the first time around due as I had fairly recently seen the Swedish one, thought it was good, and thought it was completely unnecessary to remake it in English, while still having it set in Sweden. So I might have been biased against it from the outset and just wasn't going to give it a fair shot.

    Either way, I really got sucked into this time around and wasn't even thinking about the Swedish version at all. I do agree with Levi though, that the Swedish journalist better fit the role than Daniel Craig.

    I also found the structure of the film rather unique and interesting. You start the film with the central mystery. Then we go away from that and discovery serial murders. That gets resolved. We come back to the central mystery. Solve that. Then we go on a little caper and then finish off with the big character relationship moment at the end. Very unusual structure for this type of film. It's almost more typical of a tv series than a film. On they Wikipedia page they said that they reluctantly chose to go with a 5-act structure as opposed to the typical 3-act structure, which is more similar to cop dramas. You guys talked about Fincher being ahead of the curve with "Zodiac". It seems he was also ahead of the curve here with "True Detective" following a few years later. Of course he's not the originator of the story and the novels were super popular before the movie was, but still...

    Lastly, I know you guys talked a lot on the cast about the last 25 minutes or being there to set up a series, but I also think the way Fincher and the screenwriter chose to end it really speaks to what was important to them from their experience in reading the novel. On the Wikipedia page there is a quote from Fincher saying, "The ballistic, ripping-yarn thriller aspect of it is kind of a red herring in a weird way. It is the thing that throws Salander and Blomkvist together, but it is their relationship you keep coming back to."

    Anyway, I liked this re-watch way more than I thought I would and I thoroughly enjoyed this week's cast. Though I will say I'm not sure I agree with you guys on Fincher being a better director than Edgar Wright or Tarantino. I know he's got a wider range of films, but I feel like those guys are doing something different and equally cinematic and I think you could make an argument for them being as strong as Fincher. I think they have some strengths that perhaps Fincher doesn't have and vice versa.
  • DaveyMac said:

    Though I will say I'm not sure I agree with you guys on Fincher being a better director than Edgar Wright or Tarantino. I know he's got a wider range of films, but I feel like those guys are doing something different and equally cinematic and I think you could make an argument for them being as strong as Fincher. I think they have some strengths that perhaps Fincher doesn't have and vice versa.

    I don't think I elaborated very well on that particular point, and Eric tried to dig me out of my word-hole a little. Ultimately it was comparing really delicious apples to really delicious apples. My intent was to highlight the distinct differences in whose films are for who. Tarantino, Wright, and even del Torro are all equally talented directors that are just working from a different thesis. I do not think Fincher could mimic the fantastic nature of any of those directors with the same charm, and I am not certain that even interests him. They all have different takes on the human psyche, and Fincher's feels the most grounded. That makes his filmography feel more mature overall to me, which in an off the cuff conversation makes him feel like a stronger director.

    However, this is coming at the tail end of his filmography, so we are heavily saturated by his work and thoughts, which also bends the scale when we talk about favorite directors. We will see in a director or two if I still feel the same or if it is a case of 'flavor of the week.'
    DaveyMac
  • Thanks a lot for responding and for elaborating @levij . I totally get what you are saying and your point makes a lot of sense. I'm not sure I entirely agree with the being grounded/more mature part, but I haven't thought too deeply on it. It's a really interesting point though that I'd be interested in hearing you guys explore more on the Fincher wrap-up podcast. I certainly get how, at least on the surface, Fincher could seem more grounded/mature, but thematically and from a character perspective, I could see strong arguments being made for any of the three previous directors also being as grounded/mature or even more so in at least some of their work. I'm thinking of stuff like "The Devil's Backbone", "The World's End", or "Jackie Brown".

    I will say, though, that Fincher certainly seems to craft films that appeal to massive audiences (more so than any of the other three), which in some cases is crazy to me given the dark nature of many of the films. Whether that marks him as a better director or not is debatable for sure, but damn does he have a knack for selecting scripts that really capture the public's attention.
    levij
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