The broad strokes of the sultry dragon tattoo on the slender shoulder of Lisbeth heaves and sighs as the atmosphere becomes suffocating. The smoke hangs in the air from all the tensed cigarettes burnt, the black tar lying as a heap, reminiscent of the hearts that collide on the snow laden island in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Fincher conjures the befitting ambiance to the dark themes of the enthralling novel by Stieg Larsson as the striking visual images complements the canvas of concepts squarely in the center.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is an exercise in craftsmanship and deep character study. With an eye on the expansive history of Vagner household, the detailing of rich researches of our unlikely detectives, to the narrowing down of culprit in line with the mystery at its heart, the focus is never lost on the inner struggles of our protagonists. On one hand, we have a chaotic sociopath in Lisbeth Salander having a rough childhood and an inclination towards the unconventional while on the other, we have a writer who is teetering on the verge of losing his credibility and finances. David Fincher’s approach assures that both the leads come out of the whole trial, with an astounding change, transformed by the tribulations of the thriller.
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Technicalities set aside, The Girl in the Dragon Tattoo also set quite a benchmark for eye flinching sexual violence it has up its sleeves. The central ploy at the heart of the affair in itself is sexually charged while also being quite brilliant in its unfolding. David Fincher, with all the his practiced restraints, suck us into his noir world, give time for us to invest and then pull the revealing punches in a subtle fashion.
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is seductively violent, deliciously dark and takes us to uncharted psychological territories – the places we are afraid to venture into. With a magnetic central performance from Rooney Mara as the troubled sociopath Lisbeth Salander, David Fincher succeeds yet again in adapting a humongous bestseller. He coils a serpentine of an atmosphere around your neck like a steel wired noose and then, pulls the floor from under your feet.