When a book enters the public conscious, it's not long before there's a movie version planned and those movies are always held to the highest standards by fandom. You saw it with those Twilight books, then again with those Hunger Game books. But, I don't think I've ever seen a book (or a movie) move onto everyones radar like The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.
Having read the book, I have to admit, I didn't see how they could make a movie as dense as the novel. So, when I sat down with the original Swedish version, I was skeptical....and then surprised!
The original movie, with Noomi Rapace as the title character, is just as much the taught thriller that the novel is. The story is basically a murder mystery, but with so much back story and so much going on that it's really much more than that...and the movie captures everything that the book brings (which is pretty rare). Noomi Rapace is amazing as Lisbeth (the girl with that tattoo), she embodies both alienation and feminism, at the same time, it's a performance that you really need to see to believe. The original movie is such a great film that, when I heard an English language remake was happening, I couldn't imagine it measuring up in any way....but, again, was I surprised!
In the U.S. version, Rapace is replaced by Rooney Mara, who makes the character her own, without taking anything away from the story itself....it's a true testament to acting talent, in my opinion. And, while the story is the same, the film styles are different enough that I actually enjoyed the movie again, and even felt like I was hearing the same story from a different storyteller who was bringing their unique style...which, I guess...they were!
The bottom line here is that it doesn't matter which version you catch, just make sure you catch this movie. There are scenes that are difficult to watch, but they're all integral to the story, and remember the 'law of the movies', the worse the bad guys acts, the worse his punishment must be at the end...and it all does pay off in the end!
I'm giving BOTH versions of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo 4 out of 4 cigars, it just depends on whether or not you want to read subtitles, but both movies are excellent and both are well worth your time...in fact, try to catch both, just to see the differences and to enjoy both actresses interpretation of the material...you won't be disappointed!