Fincher likened to directing legends


Critics question why it was redone so soon, fans question why it was redone at all and others question the movie’s ability to serve as a medium of pleasurable entertainment. These claims aside, David Fincher’s recent adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s worldwide best-selling novel The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo demonstrates the kind of directorial skill that has renowned actor and Bond heartthrob Daniel Craig comparing it to the style of Alfred Hitchcock, known in the film industry as “The Master of Suspense.”

In a recent interview with CTV News, Craig, who plays journalist turned investigator Mikael Blomkvist in the film, said of director David Fincher, “I genuinely feel like he’s the closest thing we have to Hitchcock.”

“People kind of compare him to Kubrick, but there’s something else about him — something that he does with visuals and he does with actors. People kind of give career-defining performances in his movies.”

Let’s pause for a moment; did one of the industry’s most prominent actors truly draw comparison between David Fincher and arguably two of the greatest directors in history? Yes, and surprisingly, I agree. Not only are each of these director’s similar with the themes and style of their films, but their films are also held in high esteem with fans. Some of Kubrick’s most memorable works include The Shining and Full Metal Jacket, while Hitchcock’s resume boasts cult classics Rear Window and Vertigo. Belonging to a new generation of Hollywood directors, David Fincher has delivered pictures such as Se7en, Fight Club, The Social Network and now The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Clearly, Craig’s enthusiastic endorsement and praise for the director isn’t the only thing that gives the film the virtue of being viewed as better than its 2009 Swedish counterpart. What fans should consider is that the American version of the film is more refined than its predecessor and more enhanced, in that it does not shy away from accurately depicting the displays of brutality described in the novel.

Backlash from fans of the Swedish franchise include the criticism that the American film is overdone stylistically, but Fincher’s knack for stylistic brilliance is what enables this remake to garner positive reception from fans of the book rather than Swedish film fans alone. The American adaptation essentially ventures further into the chilling territory of sadistic and carnal activity that Stieg Larsson so viscerally conjured.

Lisbeth Salander, the novel’s bold heroine who refuses to be victimized despite horrific events in her past, is played in the film by Hollywood up-and-comer Rooney Mara, who first appeared in the 2010 adaptation of A Nightmare on Elm Street. Mara then played a small but important role in The Social Network, where she first worked with director David Fincher. Assumedly, Mara greatly impressed the director, as after many months of screen tests, the actress earned the coveted role of Salander in the highly anticipated adaptation of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. To transform into her onscreen counterpart, Mara received numerous piercings, including multiple ear, eyebrow and nipple piercings, which she has since confirmed are real and plans to keep.

Craig and Mara star in the film alongside Christopher Plummer (The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus), Stellan Skarsgård (Thor) and Robin Wright (Moneyball). The soundtrack is created by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, who also collaborated with Fincher to create the iconic score of The Social Network.

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