The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo ★★★★

It's a mystery, a puzzle, an investigation, a hypnotic trance. These are some of the words that come to mind when I think about David Fincher's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. From the very opening scene of the film, a phone conversation between two men, Fincher establishes the film's potent atmosphere of dread, refusing to reveal the faces of the speakers. Why? They are secondary to the real focus of the scene - the dried white flower delicately set inside a picture frame. The flower is a sign, but of what and from who we don't know.

This is the beginning of what will be a tale of violence and abuse, of fear and nightmares, of lies and deceit, of investigation and truth. While the plot of the film surely covers all these things, the film - both in technique and composition - operates as an interrogation of those very concepts, delving into how we contextualize our own lives in relation to these ideas and how the world around us changes as a result of these things.

I'm just continually stunned and impressed by the gracefulness with which Fincher moves this bifurcated story - one of a humiliated journalist and a genius plagued by past trauma - into a single, inspired story of the power of investigation, the history of violence, and the complicated evolution of society.

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