Thursday, December 15, 2011

First thoughts on a controversial remake

Later this month, the English-language Hollywood remake of the outstanding Swedish film adaptation of Stieg Larsson's juggernaut bestseller THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO opens in cinemas.

Crime fiction fans around the world seem to have very mixed feelings about this latest Hollywood effort to cash in on foreign creativity, and make it more accessible/palatable for a wider (ie American) audience who perhaps aren't too keen on subtitled films, no matter how good.

Will Rooney Mara be able to provide a performance as Lisbeth Salander in the same league as Noomi Rapace, who set the bar so very high and seemed to embody Larsson's creation? Does the fact that terrific director David Fincher is involved give sceptics more hope than if other Hollywood heavyweights had been involved? Ditto for screenwriter Steve Zaillian? We'll all just have to wait and see.

Unless, that is, we were lucky enough to attend the world premiere in London this week. Like renowned crime fiction afficianado and commentator Ali Karim, who has written and edited for the likes of The Rap Sheet, Shots! ezine, January magazine, Crimespree magazine, and many other specialist crime fiction publications. People think I've interviewed a tonne of crime writers, but I've got nothing on Mr Karim, who has been at the forefront of crime fiction commentating for many years.

Now, Karim has shared his thoughts on the English-language remake on The Rap Sheet:

"Let me say that I enjoyed the original Swedish version directed by Niels Arden Oplev, so I was intrigued to see what the Americans might accomplish with the same material. I was not disappointed, as this new version is, in a word, mesmerizing."

Karim has much more to say about the film, and you can read his full review here.

So, are you looking forward to seeing a new version of Larrson's blockbuster? Comments welcome.


  1. I guess I'll see the U.S. version, as I gobbled up the trilogy in book and film form.
    Can't wait to see Mara's portrayal of Lizbeth Salander. Also, I'd read that the ending of the TGWTDT was changed. That is intriguing.
    So, yes, when it's out in dvd and at my library, I'll watch it.

  2. You make me blush, thanks for the kind words. May I state that I am excited to see it again on 26th December, it is a remaable film and despite Dvid Fincher's remark "unlikely to score any Oscars, due to featuring Anal Sex"' like the Silence of the Lambs, I predict Fincher needs to buy champagne for tha evening - it's that good