Hollywood's version of THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO is the second movie based on the wildly popular Swedish novel by Stieg Larsson.
Director David Fincher has made a powerful crime thriller with a fascinating main character: an angry, damaged, brilliant young woman who can hack into anybody's computer.
Her movie is a lurid nightmare brought to life.
Rooney Mara plays Lisbeth Salander, the anti-social young woman who works as a freelance investigator for a security firm. As a ward of the state who is sexually abused by her latest guardian (hard to watch), Lisbeth is both vulnerable and vengeful, and Rooney Mara beautifully captures her wary, but passionate nature.
The man Lisbeth has been investigating for the security firm is Mikael Blomkvist (played by Daniel Craig), an idealistic journalist who has just lost a libel case and is now investigating the disappearance and presumed murder of a young woman forty years ago. After finding out how much Lisbeth learned about him, Blomkvist realizes she could help him and after barging into her apartment early one morning, he convinces her to do just that.
Christopher Plummer plays the aging patriarch who hires Blomkvist to figure out what happened forty years ago. He warns Blomkvist that the family members he'll be meeting during his investigation are "the most detestable collection of people you'll ever meet."
I'm not one of the many millions of people who read the original novel, so I didn't know what was going to happen, and I was intrigued by the unsavory cast of characters and the intricate machinations of what turns out to be an investigation of multiple murders.
THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO is a terrific blend of story, atmosphere, and compelling characters.
And Lisbeth Salander is one of a kind.