Mikael Blomkvist might have been portrayed by Bond actor Daniel Craig, but he was certainly not the famous 007 in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Craig was a different man, both in character and appearance. He was Blomkvist, a man caught in legal dispute after the publication of his accusatory news paper article, who stumbled into a way out of the media attention. The way was through Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plumber), an old Swedish businessman seeking help with his memoirs (code for find out what happened to my missing and more than likely dead niece). Needing rest from the public eye, Blomkvist accepted the challenge, unaware of the deceitful past of the Vanger family; their life filled of dark secrets, corruption and history of anti-Semitism.
The main question still remains; where in this chain of writing and investigations does the girl with the dragon tattoo, Lisabeth Salander (Rooney Mara) fit into the picture? Here: when Blomkvist reaches a roadblock in researching the alleged death of Harriet Vanger. Requesting an assistant in the case, the company suggests their best agent, Salander, who already knows her fair share about Blomkvist (having researched his background check earlier). Abandoned at age 10, traveling from foster-home to foster-home, Salander had been on her own for most of her life. A history of drugs, violence and being warranted as insane by the state, Salander was strange; but nonetheless a genius.
If your heart wasn’t won over by the two minute animated oil intro, twisting and turning with vivid images of hands, eyes and bees. Then it surely was won in Lisabeth’s first appearance. Mara’s delivery, presence and presentation were all impeccable. Her verbal withdrawal from the scene was enticing and from that moment on, your heart had fallen for the obscurely beautiful woman. If Mara hadn’t have played Lisabeth, the movie would have been far from phenomenal; her appearance and talent were far more suited for such an avant garde role compared to Natalie Portman, who was the original pick. In the devastating rape scene, Mara’s performance had one gaping at the mouth and feeling the true pain of Lisabeth herself. There was no doubt that Mara was talented, beautiful and powerful, but she can’t have all the credit (even if she was the best part of the show).
Opposite the daring motor cycle riding beauty was the man himself, Daniel Craig, deserving three rounds of applause for his impeccable acting job. His role as Blomkvist truly proved his versatile ability. Whether it was natural chemistry or just his great acting, the on screen pairing of Salander and Blomkvist was remarkable. Words cannot describe the emotional connection between the two both intellectually and physically. Though a truly unique and intertwined couple, the movie’s ending proved the blond always gets the man. Erika Berger (Robin Wright), gave us our first glimpse at the secret life of Blomkvist, but also gave you reason to despise her. Evidently using him for personal gain (and sex), Berger’s intentions were never for ‘them’ only for her, even if stated otherwise.
Really, I need her to write my reviews. She hasn't read the books so I can't say how the movie compares to the book though. Maybe some others who've done both can comment on that.