David Fincher’s take on The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, starring Rooney Mara, deserves a sequel. Here are 5 reasons why.
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is the first installation of the Millennium series of novels by Stieg Larsson. It follows journalist Mikael and private investigator Lisbeth who seek to uncover the mystery of Harriet Vanger’s disappearance and presumed murder. The original Swedish films based on the books starred Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth and Michael Nyqvist as Mikael Blomkvist. While these films saw a great deal of popularity in Sweden, they were not as valued internationally because they were in Swedish and required subtitles, which many audiences have a difficult time with as some things often get lost in translation.
David Fincher’s English remake in 2011 of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo was met with a great deal of praise from both audiences and critics alike. From the carefully chosen dynamite cast featuring Rooney Mara, Daniel Craig, and Christopher Plummer to the unique soundtrack which was created with the help of Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor, the film is considered a modern masterpiece. The film is stylized as a modern neo-noir crime thriller, but the meaning of the story runs much deeper than mere aesthetics. Unlike the original series, however, Fincher opted out of finishing the trilogy, choosing to keep The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo as a standalone film. Here are five reasons why Fincher’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo deserves a sequel.
Rooney Mara’s Performance of Lisbeth
The choice of Rooney Mara was perfect for Lisbeth. She manages to come across something even more terrifying than Noomi Rapace’s version of Lisbeth. From getting revenge on the man who sexually assaulted her to confessing to setting her father on fire to kill him. This dedicated actress bleached her eyebrows and cut her hair for the role. Mara brings Lisbeth’s instability to life through a series of behaviour that only comes together once we get to know Lisbeth more. Different from Rapace’s Lisbeth, who seems less cold-hearted until the end of the series, Mara’s Lisbeth is cold from the get-go. Only speaking when she has to and carrying out a lot of illegal activity without thinking anything of it. Mara’s Lisbeth is the cut-throat anti-hero that we both fear and admire.
The Stunning Opening Credits
The magnificent introduction to the film through the title sequence made with animation somehow manages to pull every aspect of the film into the opening alone, letting the audience know exactly what they’re in for. This is part of what won the film an Academy Award for Film Editing as the combination of the cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” over the montage of credits on top of an animated sequence that cannot be described with words is breathtaking. Fincher’s goal with this sequence was to have all of Lisbeth’s worst nightmares come to life in the darkest way possible. The liquid coating everything is meant to be a dream ooze of sorts. This brilliant concept of Fincher’s grabs the audience’s attention immediately, dragging them in with this vignette as they want answers to the questions the sequence raises. With a genius like this, imagine what David Fincher could do with the sequels.
Fincher’s Specific Camera Choice & Lighting
Fincher is known for gritty films like Fight Club. In order to get a more realistic dark feel to any film he is working on, Fincher is very particular in the type of camera used in the filmmaking process. Preferring RED digital cameras under natural/pre-existing lighting rather than elaborate light sets. This choice gives his films a specific feel to them; the darker atmosphere with natural lighting allows for the film to be less cinematic and more realistic. For any sequel in the Millennium series, Fincher’s RED digital camera choice would bring a griminess to the film, coating everything in a darkness that couldn’t be achieved with artificial lighting. This effect lines up perfectly with the themes of the series dealing with horrific things that people don’t want to deal with ranging from rape to murder to anti-social behaviors.
Fincher’s Meticulous Casting
Though Fincher never received any formal training or education in filmmaking, he cites Alfred Hitchcock and Stanley Kubrick as influences to his style of filmmaking. While both of these directors were praised for their amazing work, there’s one specific thing they all had in common: meticulous casting. Fincher took note of how Hitchcock and Kubrick approached actors and, as a result, spends a great deal of time researching an actor for a role, looking at every detail to make sure that they are the right fit. When casting Lisbeth for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Fincher had 16 prominent candidates lined up for the role including big names like Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson. He eventually narrowed it down to Rooney Mara, who he had previously worked with on The Social Network, finding her a suitable match for the role. The potential for his casting in any sequel to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo would be meticulous and just as perfect as the casting done in the original.
Fincher’s Signature Visual Style is Perfect for Lisbeth’s World
One part of Fincher’s filmmaking that he’s carved out is the way in which the camera moves with the character. When a character is expressing emotion, the camera follows the character’s movements at the exact same speed and direction, using tilt, pan, and track to follow the characters closely. As such, all the character’s movements are choreographed between actors and camera people. This helps the audience to connect with characters in a more intimate way, getting close with them and feeling what they are feeling by having the camera mirror the character’s movements. This visual style would be an amazing asset in any Millennium sequel as the audience would grow to connect and understand each new character as was done in the original film.
The action thriller marks the first pairing of Jake Gyllenhaal and Guy Ritchie.
About The Author