Upon sitting down for a screening of Rod Lurie’s Straw Dogs, the audience got a nice surprise, eight minutes of David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I’d like to bet the material will hit the web soon enough, but, in the meantime, here’s a general sense of what to look forward to to the best of my recollection.
The piece opens with a wintery setting. Christopher Plummer’s Henrik Vanger is holed up in a cabin on the phone with Steven Berkoff’s Dirch Frode. Vanger says, “I can’t take it anymore,” and we move to a city setting where Dragan Armansky (Goran Visnjic) is chatting it up, if I remember correctly, with Frode. Armansky says something along the lines of, “She’s one of the best investigators I have,” and in comes Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander. That other character tells her that her work is thorough, but that she never gave her opinion on the target. She calls him “clean and honest” and runs through a few other facts about Daniel Craig’s Mikael Blomkvist.
Then we see Blomkvist in the flesh. He meets with Vanger who tells him he’d like to employ him to help him with his memoirs, but really, he’ll be investigating thieves and murderers. That’s when we move into the story of Harriet, a young woman Vanger knew a while back that disappeared.
The pace picks up quite a bit from there, the piece serving more as a montage of clips, albeit still maintaining a storytelling structure. Things slow down when we catch Lisbeth speaking with a lawyer. She demands control of her money and he demands that she do something for him. He walks over, she bends down and I’ll assume you can figure it out from there.
The action shifts back to Plummer’s character as he announces he thinks someone killed Harriet. Vanger shows Blomkvist Harriet’s annual birthday gift to him, framed dried plants. (They’re far prettier than I make them sound.) There are tons on the wall and as Harriet’s been missing for 40 years, it’s clear they’re not all from her. Vanger explains ever since her disappearance, her killer took it upon him or herself to send him his yearly gift.
Next up is a montage of Blomkvist doing interviews with people familiar with Harriet and her situation after which he returns to Vanger and says, “I may have found something.” He also notes he needs a research assistant and that’s where Lisbeth comes back in. She does a little digging of her own which leads to some sort of religious connection and then the piece wraps with a wicked fast-paced, quick cutting edit that comes to a heart pounding finish.
The overall consensus? As someone who’s never read the books, never seen the films and has constantly complained the marketing for this movie alienates those unfamiliar with the source material, this movie is looking pretty damn good.