David Fincher's eccentric film resume gives him the upper hand in this needless remake. The tone of the film is in perfect balance with last years Social Network. In the future people will discuss the pre Social Network era of Fincher and the post as if one film divided his work. There is a sense of authorship in Alien 3, The Game, Seven, Fight Club, Panic Room, Zodiac, and Curious Case Of Benjamin Button. Each of his films relied heavily on inventive cinematography, whether it was amazingly orchestrated movements of the camera or his ability to light his scenes in a way to aide in character development. There is a contrast on the celluloid that cannot easily be explained - a mysterious secret ingredient that allows for an immediate identification that the film is indeed a Fincher creation.
The Social Network is Fincher's transitory film within his oeuvre. The cinematography and lighting are the same, while less extravagant. It was the inclusion of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross' score that made The Social Network more accessible. They emphasized the drama within their haunting score. Tension and pace build with the music, and without it we would have a rather bland litigation film. We at CineNiche love The Social Network and the awards and nominations were deserved, but it sparked a new Fincher that may be cause for alarm.
The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo is as the taglines read: an international phenomenon. The remake the film isn't necessary, but nevertheless during a period of recession - remakes and sequels are cash cows. Droves of Americans were interested in the cultural hype of the originals, yet did not want to read the books or "read" the films. This is where the studios step in, believing that rather than allow Americans to suffer and miss a zeitgeist, that they will save the day and line their pockets. We can detest remakes elsewhere since we may have already given the impression that we disliked the film, but the reality is: everyone's excited by a new Fincher film.
Our qualms about his new directing style or his choice in accepting a remake are made moot by the pure beauty of the film itself. While it does not meet our pre Social Network standards it does tell a semi convoluted story with surgical skill. The differences between the two are in most cases subtle, with the exception of Blomkvist and Salanders' "love" affair. Perhaps this is the Americanization of the couple or possibly some overlooked text from the book, but Lisbeth is interested in Blomkvist yet completely maintains her fierce independence in the original. In this remake there are scenes that give the impression of a semi-domestication that feel as out of place as the music video credit sequence (created to be an artistic interpretation of all three novels). All other differences were thoroughly enjoyable and elevated the film to a nearly equal footing to the original.
Our only wish is that Fincher bet the one to handle the other Millennium films, good or bad his versions will be the best American's get.