Monday, September 26, 2011

Dragon lady

OK, I’m in. Sure, I have my reservations. Sure, I loved the original. Sure, I really, really loved Noomi Rapace. But I am in for the new American remake. Is it necessary? Probably not. Reading subtitled is not that hard. Still the new trailer has made me hopeful. This thing could be good. This thing could be quite good. But, you know, don’t take my word for it. Judge for yourself.

So first things first, Rooney Mara is no Noomi Rapace. Clearly. But, Rooney could still be a fairly kick-ass Lisbeth Salander. Different, yes. But perhaps somewhat more like what author Stieg Larsson envisioned in his original description of her as a grown-up Pippi Longstocking who is “a pale, anorexic young woman who had hair as short as a fuse, and a pierced nose and eyebrows…On those occasions when she had been wearing a tank top, a dragon tattoo can be seen on her left shoulder blade.”

Also David Fincher is undeniably a talented director and his taut, stylish camera work is already evident in the trailer. I mean, if he can make a bunch of nerds staring at computer screens seem suspenseful then think what he can do with a genuinely suspenseful story like this. It’s almost…frightening.

Though one of my continued concerns is that this movie looks a little like the Mikael Blomkvist story instead of the Lisbeth Salander show. Some of this is due to the casting. Daniel Craig is James Bond, and Rooney Mara is that girl who dumped the guy who invented Facebook. So while Craig is the marquee name, hopefully Rooney will still be the main attraction when all things are said and done.

Though one of the things I’m obviously happy to see is that Lisbeth’s bisexuality is still intact. Though, there was never much doubt that would make it into the new film. (SPOILER ALERT: Skip the rest of this paragraph if you haven’t read the book or seen the film.) What I like about the trailer is that while Lisbeth’s relationship with Miriam is revealed, her relationship with Blomkvist is barely hinted at. Part of that is probably because it’s the natural progression with the story and a pretty big thing to give away in a preview. But it’s also somewhat encouraging because the easiest thing marketers can do to make a female character who has an eye for the ladies more appealing to male viewers is to show she also has an eye for the fellas.

Though, the poster more than makes up for the trailer’s restraint. And it also points to more of my Blomkvist Show v. Salander Show worries. She is naked, he is clothed. She looks small, he looks imposing. Even the way he is holding her is equal parts dominating and protective. Lisbeth Salander doesn’t need a protector – even if he is 007.

But the poster is the poster, the film is the film. And I think for all my love of the original, I’m still going to give this American version a chance. And if it also turns out to be good, well then there will be two movies about a fierce, ferociously independent heroine that are worth watching. And that’s not a bad thing, not a bad thing at all.


Mari said...

i'm kind of weirded out by the no eyebrows look going on here - i'm a firm believer in making your eyebrows match your hair color or vice versa.

although i have strayed from the path myself as i have very light eyebrows and blond hair and when i hennaed the latter i achieved a similar non matching effect. and then i did my brows and it was another kind of wierd 'cause i have gotten used to my natural look of no eyebrows.

so i might be trying to say that the no brows look brings this character closer to me.

can't wait to see the film.
sadly haven't gotten around to see the swedish ones either

Anonymous said...

It does look good, cinematic in a way the first wasn't and Rooney does seem transformed - wasn't sure that was going to happen.

For a trailer, it's a little too long and shows too much - but maybe that's because I already now the story.

I'll go see it.

Good to see Cap'n Von Trapp back in the game - although I wish more people went to see 'Beginners,' for him, and other reasons.

Anonymous said...

It's a trailer and most trailers make the forthcoming product appear promising. Nearly every movie I've ever seen had a great trailer.

TGWTDT was successfully dubbed in English so there treally was no necessity to read subtitles iof that's not your inclination.

I am most concerned though with this panf=dering to young males. I am still put off byu the movie poster of Lesbeth topless and being emb trace by the male lead and what happened to her nipple?

My interest was also stirred when I first viewed the new trailer, until I rewatched it several times.

vrgriffith said...

I am not quite sure. I have never understood the craven need for American studios to remake foreign films; especially within a year to 18 months after the original is released. I believe the musicality of the language is lost. Then there is the propensity of the remake not to be as good as the original.

With David Fincher directing, I can only hope this increases the chances of the film being good.

Will have to wait to see the film. Fingers crossed.

ps. No remake could be worse than Vanilla Sky.

Anonymous said...

trailer looks great. Lisbeth is so interesting as a cinematic character because she is so edgy and odd and non-typical. It's exciting to see a character like this.

SPOILER: I can never get over how exploitive I thought the rape scene of lisbeth was in the original movie, and I felt the same about the repeated showing of the pictures of mutilated dead women. Suggesting is much more powerful than the porno-esque style of showing. Ruined the movie for me. I hope they handle that differently but with this director I'm not so sure.

Emily said...

I'm REALLY excited for this movie. While I agree that it's not necessary to remake every foreign movie for Hollywood, I think this one will be fine. That the originaly was in Swedish was great, but in my opinion the original movies didn't follow the books as closely as I would've liked. They left quite a bit out/changed some things that while not necessarily esssential to the movie, I would've liked to see as the book had them.

Noomi Rapace was great, but I also think she was almost TOO attractive. While reading the books I pictured Lisbeth to look a lot like what they've done with Rooney- that whole "barely legal," almost anorexic look. Noomi's Lisbeth is just freakin sexy, and I don't think that's how she was intended to look at all. That being said, it'll be hard to live up to the wonderful performance Noomi gave, because it was quite good despite my misgivings.

Solo said...

The long anticipated american version Will be seen and I may be even lucky to see the premiere either in London or Stockholm !

As for the original was produced by my very own ''swedish mom'' and it was her first investment in movie industry. It flew up to the sky :))) they were offered the option to re-make it in english with the same actors, but as far as i know making a hollywood movies is business from another planet... plus Noomi Rapace is not interested in working in so big productions...shortly now u know why i ll stand by the swedish version nd say its the best :)) I like swedish language... the movie is felt different knowing swedish culture.. the way things work-relationships,work,family.. the sense of the seeings in winter stockholm..the expressions they use ..all these will be a bit confusing in english.. not a fan of the ''new james bond'' , but he is said to be a good actor once again the movie will be seen :)

picky said...

I thought the original was not a great adaptation, so I think a remake makes sense. The original trilogy was not sufficiently edited down and was really bogged down by scenes that did in fact happen in the book, but added nothing to the flow of the film. Unless you have a 15-hour miniseries in your hands, then you can't include *everything* that was in the book. It screws up the pacing and the exposition. With all that content, all you're doing is exposition.

Noomi R. was good, but I wasn't blown away the way most people were. There's definitely room for improvement.

Michelle said...

So much to say, but I will leave a 2 point comment.
1) The preview was disappointing because it shows that it is clearly made for American consumption. So much of what was just understood in the Swedish movies is said out loud in the preview for the American movie. For example, when Blomqvist says basically "how can you be looking at my files, they're encrypted" and Lisbeth says "Please" with a scoff - that wasn't necessary to say out loud in the original - it was just understood in the fascinating relationship of Mikael and Lisbeth - one where he just ACCEPTS her exactly as she is.
2) I MIGHT want to see the American version only so that I can fairly compare the two, but am afraid my mind will end up confusing the two, and I'll be left with muddy recollections rather than my original LOVE for the Swedish film.

kend said...

Loved the original movies. Watched them both with sub-titles then again dubbed in English (the dubbed versions were very well done). I could never understand why they needed to be remade. All three of the Swedish films are outstanding. Hope the new version can hold a candle to the originals.

Advizor54 said...

Anon 8:37 said, "TGWTDT was successfully dubbed in English so there really was no necessity to read subtitles if that's not your inclination."

I have to disagree. I rented the original with subtitles and was about 1/2 way through when I found myself watching the 2nd 1/2 on the subtitled version. IT WAS AWFUL.

I don't speak Swedish so I can't speak to the translation, but the tone of voice was as if they were reading "Pretty Little Pony" dialogue. Totally wrong for the mood of the film.

I will go see the new version, but my hopes aren't very high.

kb said...

it looks intriguing, but am I the only one put off by the weird accent thing? if you're going to make an American remake, transpose the whole story to Martha's Vineyard or something... #confused

Anonymous said...

I actually thought the book TGWTDT was more about Blomqvist than Salander all the way from beginning to end, so I think it's only reasonable that the movie adaptation represents that, in spite of the title's suggestion.

Anonymous said...

I really dislike the no eyebrow look and in some of the other images I've seen, I just want to attack that dodgy fringe she's wearing with some scissors.

But, I will watch the film, despite saying that I wouldn't. I'm a huge fan of Noomi Rapace's version, although the U.S version appears to be interpreting Lisbeth according to the book more.

Wegan said...

As a fan of the books & the Swedish films, I agree no real point to an American version.. and I was worried as to how Hollywood it would be. I rather like Daniel Craig as Blomkvist and I think Rooney does somewhat look the part. I'm very glad they showed her with Miriam a lot more it seems than the original. Will definitely go see it.

M x

dc said...

If Daniel Craig plays Bloomskvist with even a whiff of Bond, he's a lousy actor. Because Bloomskvist is the the anti-Bond.

And there are too many hints of Bloomsvist being the hero protecting Lisbeth - which is SOOOOO crap. Because in the book,


she saves him! So I won't be going to this hollywood remake. US culture seems unable to portray a woman who is streets ahead of the goy in taking care of herself and saving the man, in no uncertain terms.

Anonymous said...

I didn't think the American version of the film was going to keep Lisbeth true to the book. I thought they were going to Hollywood her up. But in the end they nailed the look! That's exactly how she looked in my mind when I was reading.

I hope she's old enough for me to be attracted too. Haha...nervous laughter.

Anonymous said...

@dc,...maybe you should wait until reviews of the full movie are out rather than basing your decision on a trailer and a poster.