Daniel Craig is as good in the role of Mikael as was the Swedish actor. In fact, there is a resemblance between the two men. Craig brings star power to the role and his involvement may lead to films based on the other two books. There are a number of other actors in the cast who led credence to the story.
Then there is Rooney Mara in the only role that matters. Mara’s Lisbeth is an entirely different person than Noomi Rapace’s interpretation of the character who is “the girl”. Mara’s Lisbeth is softer than Rapace’s. Lisbeth in the Fincher movie is “goth lite”. Her appearance isn’t much different than that of some of the students I have had. Rapace’s Lisbeth projects a barely controlled menace. Both women are small but Mara comes across as a waif; no one would find anything helpless about Lisbeth in the Swedish version.
When I saw Noomi Rapace in the role, I decided that she was what Larsson had in mind when he created Lisbeth. So she is my Lisbeth. Mara was an acceptable Lisbeth but I think Fincher made a mistake. Rooney Mara had many screen tests over the course of five months before Fincher choose her for what may be the best role for a female actor in a long time. But the length of time ot took for Fincher to decide on Mara suggests that she wasn’t quite what he had in mind either. Rapace has a Swedish accent and Mara had to create one. Interestingly, my nephew’s wife is Swedish and she has virtually no accent at all.
Rapace was born in 1979. Mara was born in 1985. There isn’t a significant difference in their ages but I think Rapace brought an attitude of maturity to Lisbeth making her fury at having to put up with a guardian understandable.
THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO does justice to the book. The book is a good yarn with elements of violence that I never thought I would pay money to see. I read the book in a day. The film runs 2 hours and 40 minutes and it goes quickly. It is a good story that is well acted and it seems to have done well at the box office. As I have mentioned before, my husband and I read the books but my daughter did not. We all enjoyed the movie. I recommend books and films, both versions. The trilogy has sold in numbers most authors can only dream of. That says something about the entertainment value.