Average & Expert – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

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d.marie_radha : Saw the entire Swedish trilogy in the theatre before Fincher's version was even announced and I loved it but still I went into the remake with an open mind, wanting to like it just as much. Unfortunately I think the only improvement beyond some (as you said, better funded) cinematography, was the opening credits. Otherwise in almost all other regards I prefer the crime/puzzle framework of the original and thought Fincher spent too much time focused on making things look cool. I cared more about the characters in the original and was more invested in their journey. I appreciated Rooney Mara's performance, but I felt far more connected to Noomi Rapace's. Sort of related to that, there was a scene that was changed drastically from the original that I also never understood: in the Swedish version Lisbeth is mugged in the subway station and when she tries to resist she's brutally beaten and fails- whereas the American version has Lisbeth succeed in getting her bag back and even gets to slide down the escalator, looking like a badass. In both cases she's forced to buy a new laptop but the original conveys Lisbeth's struggle to physically match her mental determination. She's been a victim for most of her life and continues to be until she finally makes the turn within the plot of the film and is finally able to exact revenge and seek justice. The remake just had a cool, empty action sequence that conveyed nothing. And lastly I disagree that the original film wasn't asking questions. It was just asking *different* ones. For instance with the scene where Vanger reveals the flowers- in the sequel they're talking about something of importance and you dont immediately know what it is. But in the original you're *shown* the thing (shot in a dynamic pullback that I thought was more interesting) and the immediate question is *why* are these important. I appreciated your analysis, but I do think it would serve you to have a more balanced approach next time. You started the video by saying Fincher's remake was by and far superior to the film it nearly mimicked scene for scene, and you just whistled that tune all the way through.

H B : Sorry but its not Average vs expert. They´re r just aimed at diffrent audiences. The swedish one is aimed at an swedish audience that are used to crime dramas being played out way. It is played out as something that could happen in real life and you´re following a real detective solving a murder. Finchers version is somewhat what we would call americanised version. More dramatic and seemed to take place in another more darker universe to make the audience more intrigued. To me its like watching a crime drama vs dark thriller. I like them both but perfer the swedish one. Great analysis though! Hope to see more from u!

longoats : The original feels very real. The remake feels very hollywood-ized, especially the characters, everyone treats each other as actors, instead as just ordinary people. Also, and this is just a personal preference, but- I can't stand the remake's version of Lisbeth. Much prefer the original.

Lacke : Your points dont always make sense. You clearly have a bias for Fincher, and the analysis ends up confused. For example, your point about the flowers, "Fincher asks a question then gives an answer unlike the swedish one that gives the answer first". This is incorrect. The swedish one also gives a question and an answer, just a different one. Finchers Q: What is the old man talking about? Swedish Q: What is with the flowers? You didnt analyze the scene, you just assumed what Fincher does is "correct" and therefor all other approaches are wrong.

Andrey Kurenkov : The idea of saying Fincher's version is 'better' is a bit silly . Fincher is a stylist, the amount of film craft and style that pops out at the viewer in each scene is correspondingly much larger. The originals are more low key, but not in any sense objectively worse and it is weird to use wording that implies it is so ...

Rebecca Johnson : I hate to attack your premise, but stretching out a moment can be a bad thing. It can be belaboring a point, overemphasizing "moments" over just telling the damn story. Personally, I prefer the Swedish introduction of the female character. She dominates the men completely, and the first shot of her character is more effective in the Sswdish version (seeing more of the character establishes her better; in the American version, she's cut off by the table).

Kell Brigan : Totally disagree. The Swedish version is believable and human. The English version is just the same old Hollywood slickery. Every single shot of the English version is predictable and plastic.

Santiago : So sad he didn’t get the budget for the whole trilogy

Alexander Von Engelberg : I will always prefer the swedish version lul. Noomi Rapace is cinema gold in those movies.

Robert Turner : The original was the best. Especially the lead actress.

1938Superman : Still watching, but I disagree with your assessment of the framed flowers. You're basing your conclusion on the structure of Oplev's scene on the structure of Fincher's scene. You can't do that, especially since Oplev's scene came first. You have to examine both scenes as though they are the only one the viewer has seen. The framed flowers are only an answer in Fincher's film. In Oplev's film, they are the question. "What is the deal with all these framed flowers?" That's Oplev's question. Now, I do like Fincher's structure better here, but you have to give both films a fair assessment. I'll watch the rest, but it looks like you're just gearing up for a Fincher lovefest here.

Can Kant Catch Schrödingers Cat : I prefer the swedish version. Thematicly it is closer to the book. The American version is trying too hard to be nordic noir. Also the swedish version is funny sometimes like the is.

raygon8 : I read the book and the whole book series and saw both movie versions (10 years ago or so) I like the original better . Noomi Rapace did much better acting, a vulnerable trait that Rooney Mara lacked. Sail Away music at the end was a nice touch to the latter

Graveyard Shift films : This is such a wrong and completely unfair comparison. The Swedish film is 10 thousand times better than the Fincher version & I say that as a Fincher fan. As a piece of narrative the Swedish version is way more effective. The final reveal is shocking, surprising & most of all very disturbing. The Fincher version on other hand is long, almost meandering & boring with the casting of Stellan Skarsgard a dead giveaway even for people who have not seen the original film. It is also very cold & emotionally detached with american & British actors playing English speaking Swedish characters. Its quite laughable when you think of it. And all the blocking & editing choices are very personal story telling choices, that I don't think makes the us version better and most importantly anyway more effective. Sorry.

rpenn79 : I understand that Fincher's pretty good at what he does, but don't you think he has the added benefit of seeing the faults of the previous film and fixing what he thought was wrong? BTW, I enjoyed your comparison and look forward to many more.

Marcus Sun : There is nothing average about the Swedish version of Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. It was almost universally praised upon releasee and perfectly cast, spawning two sequels and making stars of its leads. Fincher made use of already-established actors plus a much higher budget. Where are his sequels?

Demétrius Carvalho : I'm surprised this is the only video in your channel. Your analysis here is very well constructed and compelling, you should make more of these.

teeereee : Despite Finchers technical prowess, and command of cinematic language and the tighter script... I still remember liking the original Swedish one more for whatever reason. I think it was just the story and characters who did more for me in that version. Good analysis still.

TheCDNkindaguy : i prefer the Swedish version by as far margin. Cinematic's aside, it was far more organic and unfiltered.

R3dp055um : I totally disagree that Fincher's American version is better. I think perhaps it seems that way to you because you are American, and it caters to American expectations.  I consider the Swedish original version far superior. Noomi Rapace just kills the title role, and the other actress doesn't *even* come close.

Steven Smith : But Noomi Rapace was sooooo much better than Rooney Mara

Aki : Undoubtedly Fincher's cinematography is superior, but storytelling wise the original is more raw, believable. "Stretching" the introduction of Lisbeth makes her out to be some anti-hero right out the gate, a larger than life personality. The original presents her more matter-of-factly, but the contrast comes with her demeanor and style contrasting to the color temperature and lighting of the scene (warm, well-lit vs. her dark and brooding).

Liam Walsh : When Lisbeth is introduced the different choices of the two directors perfectly illustrates the difference between suspense and surprise. I love suspense, but I kind of think surprise is more appropriate here.

gnarlin : Can you please do a similar comparison between "Let the right one in" and "Let me in" ?

Bulgarian Gooner : Noomi Rapace wipes the floor with what's her face. The Original is always better.

MrSquifler : To me, Fincher's is better in every way, but the Swedish version should definitely be watched by all fans because it is a good film.

Full Comic Alchemist : I'm not being one of those dicks arguing for the sake of it, I really prefer the Swedish version a lot of that is to do with me preferring Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth I done my film thesis on the Swedish version at collage, I also feel more connected with Noomi as Lisbeth

Sophie Kilmer : when you have good source material to work from, you don't need so much "stretch moments" to fill out a movie, to me that is lazy directing, and bad story telling, not building a moment. thankfully the Swedish version doesn't have that issue. and the Swedish version completed the trilogy, the English speaking version barely squeaked by on the first film

KP108 : I find Fincher's version criminally underrated among his films. I think it's an outstanding film - and I admire the original, as well. But, as you said, Fincher sets a strong tone and atmosphere for his film. I remember being genuinely cold in the movie theater when watching it! Now THAT'S setting a scene!

Shane Miller : I personally thought the swedish film was superior.

NobodyC13 : I remember watching the Swedish and American version back to back within a week and I noticed something that made the former feel inferior is that they took all of Blomkvist's significant moments and dumped them onto Lisbeth. Don't get me wrong, Lisbeth is an excellently strong female character but I felt it made her dynamic with Blomkvist uneven as she did all the investigating and he was a bumbling idiot (like how all the close ups made him look bored and uninvested). I think it's the Legolas or Hermione effect when filmmakers take a competent character and exaggerate their competentcy because I think they were trying to make Lisbeth less of a character and more of a force of nature. With Fincher, all the original story beats remain intact but there was a definite partnership between the two as both were equally clever, they both made substantial contributions to the investigation, and the film took the time to show the character's processes when coming to a conclusion.

H F : The Swedish version was better in every single way. The acting was far superior. It wasn't overly stylised like the remake. The tone was darker, it was grittier, and frankly Noomi LOOKED better,and I believed it. I didn't believe the remake. What the hell was with everyone having Swedish sounding names but they were American? It was just bull. If you're going to change things like that, might have just set it in America.

Unknown Stranger : I think I like the introduction of Noomi's version better. The lighting in Fincher's and how she sits alone, says a lot about the character. However, in the Swedish version there's a lot of lighting. She doesn't shake the man's hand when he extends it, and she sits between the two men. Her not shaking his hand may look rude, but I don't know, it kind of confirms her social blindness, her aspergers, which is what many theorize she has. Being between two men can represent how men always try to dominate her or how in a male dominated world, she is still able to hold her own. And lastly the lighting. The room is so bright in contrast to Lisbeth. It shows what a dark character she is.

Christian Gerhardt : Naomi Rapache will always be Elizabeth Salander.

Tamaresque : I don't agree, I didn't see any of that in the US film, I just saw it as being drawn out. However, I'd already watched the Swedish version, which preceded it by a couple of years, and fallen in love with that version of Mikael & Lisbeth, so I thought the US actors were but pale imitations.

Jogar Gobz : So basically, it is about stretching of moment? Anyway i am prefer Swedish version. US version seems to be too americanized, which migh be better in comparisons, but for me its less believable. btw.: 'framed flower' stretch was not stretch at all. In Swedish version it was revealed in first minute of movie, so there was no reason for stretching in minute 19. Just detail. :)

Kenneth Bryant : American and yeah, I prefer the Swedish version.

Matthew : This only makes me want the other two more! It was a great movie based on only the first in an amazing trilogy. I watched the Swedish version just so I could see the completed trilogy.

Veres Tamás : To me the original version is much more realistic, natural. Finch version is sterile.

Fulvio Rivano : The first (Swedish) version is far better!!!

jussing : While I always appreciate a thorough analysis and respect the work you've done, I'm baffled by your conclusions. I could not disagree more. I'm a dedicated Fincher fan, but Dragon Tattoo is his most bland, uninspired and completely mundane work ever. Looks like he was so bored doing a remake he barely showed up for work. There's nothing interesting about his film; the Swedish version is leagues above. The thing you describe as "craft" is "Hollywood trailer fluff" to my eyes. The introduction of Lisbeth, for instance, is so much more authentic and well-crafted in the Swedish version. Fincher shoves it down our throats with Michael Bay editing that doesn't give the audience any place to be, any character to identify with. But like I said, I respect your hard work and very thorough analysis, and respect that opinions are subjective.

MA CC : The Swedish version is original, better and serious.

bluecarob : I prefer the original.

Ahman Millener : They Americanized an already excellent movie. What a waste of money, because some idiot didn't like subtitles. Note: The Original is SOOO MUCH BETTER!

Sash : Ok, I'm gonna disagree with you about the reveal of the "answer" of the paintings. The original reveal is more stylish and dramatic - nothing wrong with that. Fincher uses the pov of the character. Neither of these director choices is "better" than the other, because they're stylistic, personal choices and they both work for the scene. Also, budget IS important, because a bigger film will have more time to shoot and more resources to shoot with. Fincher edits digitally (and I assume shoots that way too) so he will be able to perfect every single take. Most films don't have the budget - therefore the luxury that he has to get everything so perfect. The original was probably shot on film, and so would have taken longer on average to shoot. This means that the director was already limited by their choices of shots and compositions.

dornravlin : Good Video but i pefer the swedish version Finchers Skill made it lifless so you coudnt breath pluss hes a cold bloded director the emtionaol scens didnt work for me

Eleanor Jones : When you have an investigator with obvious piercings and who is completely unconventional, enter into a highly conservative corporate environment, why does anyone need an introduction as to "why" people (in the corporate world) don't like this character? Its' exposition that is unnecessary as the answer is given as soon as we see the character. There's too much exposition in Fincher's version, in my opinion. Nevertheless, I do agree with a lot of your astute observations about both these films. For me, however, the real element that made the Swedish version superior was in the casting of the role of Lisbeth. Since she is really the central character, that plays an important part in the film. In my opinion, Rooney Mara is very good, but Noomi Rapace is in an entirely different league. She's absolutely brilliant, and far far more interesting to watch. I spent the whole film wanting to know more about her character, and she dealt with this damaged, cut off young woman effortlessly. You don't need to stretch so many moments when you have actors capable of stretching moments themselves. Noomi Rapace is the expert that ultimately makes the Swedish version the "Expert" and the American version the "Average". All just my opinion, and with complete respect for your own!

Ian Crossley : For those Swedish version lovers just look at the shot of the train heading up north. Fincher's version is superior. Looks like a painting. The Swedish version looks as though an ordinary tourist shot.

Paula Fernandez : Such a nice and interesting video, I loved the american movie but the swedish one is more accurate

skovacs__ : Some directors - like Finch, Iñárritu, Villeneuve - view directing as an opportunity not just to tell a story, but to express their art. And it really separates the good from the bad.