This movie both disappointed and impressed me at the same time.
I was rather impressed with the quality of the acting, especially Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander. The character Mara was tasked with portraying is a very difficult one if you ask me after having read all three books in the series. Lisbeth Salander is a very complex and to some extent strange character to understand and Mara must have worked hard to get the portrayal as close as she did.
The other thing I was fairly impressed with was how authentic I felt the film was. When reading the book you sort of imagine an environment in your head that makes sense, and the director of the movie made that environment come to life. I could feel the cold of northern Sweden and my heart clenched at the treatment Salander was subjected to in the various scenes where she is abused by arrogant male characters. Even more so, my skin absolutely crawled at the depiction of Martin Vanger towards the end of the movie. That villain was portrayed perfectly.
What disappointed me about the movie was how it seemed like they literally used the actual book as the screenplay when filming. One thing people love to complain about with movies that were books first is that the movie ruins everything that the book made great about the story. However, in almost every case the director of the movie is given latitude to take a little bit of their own interpretation into account when making the movie. Either that wasn’t allowed with this film, or the director simply decided he didn’t want to.
That left me with a situation where I quite literally knew every single thing that was going to happen next. There were no surprises, or interesting interpretations of events that I could wonder at. It was as close to an exact copy I’ve ever seen a movie be of a book.
In the end, I’m glad I finally got to see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and I did enjoy it. I’ll definitely look forward to the second and third movies in the future and I hope that despite the fact they’ll likely follow a similar formula the production quality will be just as good.