Movie Directors have their styles. They have what they are good at and they usually stick to it. David Fincher is good at a lot of things, and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) is essentially him showing it all off.
First of all, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a movie based on the novel by the same name. IMDB puts the plot perfectly with “Journalist Mikael Blomkvist is aided in his search for a woman who has been missing for forty years by Lisbeth Salander, a young computer hacker.” Honestly, that’s all you should really know before going in to the movie, as it is a mystery movie, so having no spoilers is pretty key.
Overall, I really liked the movie, it kept me hooked for the full two and a half hours, and kept me watching through the more uncomfortable and hard to watch scenes, but do we really expect anything less from Fincher? Which brings me to my main point.
This movie basically shows off everything Fincher is good at and excels at in different movies, but all in one movie. I mean, it should be no doubt that he can do slow burn mystery films, with Se7en (1995) and Zodiac (2007) on his resume. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo excels with the slow burn mystery. With each clue bringing you closer to the answer but also making even more questions. He excels in this movie with the bait-and-switch where you think you know what’s happened and then boom, you were wrong (or at least that’s what happened to me, maybe someone smarter then me could see the ending coming). Which was something he also famously exceled at in Fight Club (1999). Additionally, Fincher’s music choices in this film, and others such as Fight Club and The Social Network (2010), is incredible. The man knows how to chose songs. With out spoilers, he uses Enya’s Orinoco Flow (Sail Away) during a very tense-full confrontation towards the end of the film, which created a almost disturbing contrast, between the peaceful and relaxing sound of the song and what’s happening on screen. One last thing, that David Fincher does in this movie that he also excels at in others is making scenes of people typing on a computer compelling. Am, I joking? Yeah, kind of, but not really. I’m bringing it up as a joke but its also not a wrong observation. Watching someone simply type on a laptop sounds incredibly boring. But, in this movie and in The Social Network, Fincher manages to make those scenes compelling. I don’t quite know how, but he does.
Before, I get into something completely spoilery, I just want to say, the movie is now streaming on Netflix if you’re interested. Alright, spoiler alert for what’s below.
I was completely caught off guard that Stellan Skarsgård was the bad guy. I think I just inherintly trust the guy because I mainly know him from Mamma Mia (2008). Was that intentional with the casting? Probably not, they cast him because he’s a great actor, but there was that unintended effect that made the reveal at the end, all the more shocking.
Alright, that’s all I had to say. Bye.