The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011): David Fincher Covers Occupied Territory

For anyone who is a fan of international cinema it may come as a surprise that David Fincher would decide to make a Hollywood version of a recently released Swedish film by director Niels Arden Oplev. Or perhaps not. With so many English-speaking people adverse to reading subtitles, it is perhaps a forgone conclusion that any internationally successful film will be grabbed and Americanized by the studios in Hollywood.

The DepartedWe see numerous examples of this throughout Hollywood’s history, with Martin Scorsese’s The Departed, as a recent example. The Departed was a great film and it won’t be surprising if Fincher, a director of the same caliber as Scorsese, translates the Stieg Larsson novel into box office success.

The only hurdle will be whether patrons of the Oplev film, Män som hatar kvinnor, which when it was distributed internationally also went by the title, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, will want to attend what is basically the same film with English-speaking actors. Usually the Hollywood studios would change the title to at least give the illusion that film-goers are watching something original. Mou gaan dou, the film The Departed was based on, was released internationally as Infernal Affairs as an example of this name change.

David FincherOnce Fincher’s version hits the big screen in December, comparisons will be made with the original released only two years earlier. Män som hatar kvinnor was a stunning film so Fincher must be at his best to make fans of the original accept his version with the same respect.

What is exciting though, is that the plot and themes of the novel fit Fincher’s directorial style perfectly. Fincher is great with translating the darker sides of human nature into celluloid. His skill at dark imagery, claustrophobic camera work, and frenetic movements, all play well to a subject matter that includes rape, murder, and family secrets.

David Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon TattooThe story itself focuses on the partnership between an investigative reporter (Daniel Craig) and female computer hacker (Rooney Mara) who look into the disappearance of a girl missing for 40 years. They uncover a serial killer who has been murdering women for decades all the while holding the post of CEO of a wealthy family business.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was a successful novel and film before Fincher took on the project. Let’s hope he continues that success. With films like Se7en and Fight Club under his belt, we think he will easily accomplish the task.

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