The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo VS. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

yes, yes, i realize everyone’s already done this, and most are more well-informed since i haven’t even read the book – but i don’t really want to talk about Rooney Mara’s ass or Daniel Craig’s inability to seem vulnerable when judging the American version against the Swedish version.

just want to talk about Lisbeths. just want to talk about Noomi Rapace vs. Rooney Mara. just want to talk about something very, very different in these two performances that i haven’t seen mentioned yet (and if it’s all over the place and i’m regurgitating, forgive me):

Noomi Rapace’s Lisbeth: sociopath

Rooney Mara’s Lisbeth: psychopath

both women play the role admirably, but the interpretations are sooo different. Rapace’s Lisbeth is a coiled snake – a tightly wound ball of rage and vulnerability and intelligence. NEVER does she seem to be anything other than in complete control and completely aware of what she’s doing, be it testing her attraction/feelings for her male companion or carving a bloody tattoo in a rapist’s chest. there’s never a snap or a click when you feel she’s floated away and given in to her rage and it is driving her.

The opposite is true of Rooney Mara – in the same scenes (mainly the violent ones, of course) Mara goes distinctly different behind the eyes and seems absolutely consumed. She’s a different Lisbeth when she commits these acts, she is Rage, she is Not There. you see the blink and suddenly smart and guarded Lisbeth has become the creature that carves names on people’s chests and asks permission to kill, because she’s incapable of making such a decison.

for this, i respect Rapace’s performance, as well as her Lisbeth, more than Mara’s. I don’t know if it’s an American preference – we want people (especially a female we want to like) to lose it before they do horrifying things so we don’t have to blame them? i don’t know.

it’s Lecter vs. Gumb for me – the Aware will always be more compelling.



1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Richard Thomas
    Jan 11, 2012 @ 19:44:55

    Good stuff, Amanda. Makes me want to really see the Swedish version, now. I saw the Fincher flick and it was good, but not great, IMO. I wanted more. Guess I’ll have to listen to you better. 🙂


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