During the last week in August, a blog called Mouth Taped Shut started to make the rounds and as more and more official-looking posts went up, it became obvious it was part of the marketing for Sony’s upcoming The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, directed by David Fincher.
On Wednesday, September 14, Mouth Taped Shut hosted a quick look at the movie prior to nationwide screenings of Screen Gems’ Straw Dogs and ComingSoon.net was invited to check it out.
The footage shown was apart of an 8-minute long trailer, which opens on a snow-covered house with a Christopher Plummer voice-over. Plummer plays Henrik Vanger and describes how he has received a package, and we cut to Vanger talking on a phone as the camera pans down of the package. It is a picture of a flower. Cut to a motorcycle roar, followed by the motorcycle zooming across a street near a body of water. A woman dressed all in black walks through a building filled with people and office cubicles. The voice-over describes an investigator as being “different” and “the best they have.”
We then see a quick cut of Rooney Mara’s Lisbeth Salander, sitting reluctantly at a large table being interviewed by two men, being asked questions about Daniel Craig’s Mikael Blomkvist, as she describes his daily routine. She is then asked to describe things that were not reported and she begins to talk about his sexual relationship and what he is and is not doing enough of.
It then cuts to Vanger talking with Blomkvist about investigating the murder of his niece forty years earlier, and he explains that Blomkvist will go under the guise of writing an autobiography and will interview his family while trying to solve this murder.
Cut to a flashback of a parade then to a bad car crash pileup, which Vanger’s voice-over describes as having “nothing and everything to do with the missing wife.” We then see Salander walking through a street and then down an escalator–she is different, pierced, a visible outcast–then we see Salander in a room with a bearded man behind a desk; he is direct in a creepy sort of way and boasts she needs to be more sociable and makes sexual advances at her, implying that she give him oral sex.
Cut to another flashback with Blomkvist and Vanger at what looks to be a lake dock. Vanger explains that someone on the island killed her and has started taunting him by sending birthday gifts. These gifts are unique in that only he and his niece know of them.
Blomkvist is interviewing the lead investigator and members of Vanger’s family, as a voice-over explains that he’ll be aided by the girl who did the background check on him. We then see him knocking on Salander’s door and letting himself in. In the background, we see Salander’s lover and she’s instructed by Blomkvist to have the girl leave.
Cut to Salander’s having a discussion with an officer (Alan Dale) who inquires about what she just ate and how gruesome the upcoming moments will be. We see crime scene photos of dead women tied up with rope and without clothes, and we hear a voice-over of how the women all have names from the Old Testament and we are lead to believe this murder investigation won’t be limited to one missing woman.
We are then given rapid moments from the film. This felt very similar to the pace of the trailer and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was. These rapid images begin to get faster and eventually lead up to The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo logo followed by the release date of December 21, 2011.
As far as characters go, Rooney Mara is unrecognizable. She is pure Goth with her piercings and tattoos, and her mannerisms clearly show how uncomfortable she is around supposed everyday people. She clearly is a social outcast but shows glimpses of fight.
Daniel Craig comes off as a man with know-how. He is always prim and proper but clearly damaged from a past investigation, clearly experienced and good at what he does. As this trailer progresses, he begins to clearly see that this investigation isn’t very simple and that he may be in over his head.
Christopher Plummer is shown-off the most, taking the lead on the trailer’s narrative. He seems clear, direct and to the point when describing the investigation to Craig. No real signs of aging with the 81-year-old actor as he seems to be very on top of his game. Stellan Skarsgård can be seen spread out through the trailer without any major speaking parts, most of the visuals implying he may be hiding something.
The trailer is cut very tight and does a good job of setting up the film – typical Fincher tone, pace, picture color and camera framing are all over the trailer. The flashbacks did not seem out of place and had visuals that reminded me of Zodiac in that all images seemed to be within a certain time period. What I believe to be Trent Reznor’s score plays and is very much in line with what can be heard on the film’s official website.