The teaser trailer for “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” didn’t divulge much about the murder mystery at the center of the flick, trading story details for darkly cool imagery and a badass Led Zeppelin cover courtesy of Trent Reznor , Atticus Ross and Karen O.
The latest “Dragon Tattoo” trailer takes a wildly different approach, running four minutes and diving deeply into the lives of Mikhail Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) and Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), the two Swedes at the center of this tale about a 40-year-old cold case of a missing girl and a rich, dysfunctional family. It’s hard to argue the new footage is too spoiler heavy, considering the ubiquity of the international best-selling Stieg Larsson novel on which the film is based. Let’s just say that there is a ton to unpack in the new trailer. Here are our picks for the five key scenes:
The Family Dinner
While Larsson’s book is set in contemporary times, its story is inextricably tied to the past, to events surrounding the disappearance and suspected murder of Harriet Vanger, a teenange girl and scion of a wealthy family with dark secrets. Blomkvist and Salander are charged with cracking the decades-old case and largely rely on vintage photographs to assist their investigation. This scene, a glimpse of the Vanger family in the 1960s, shows that director David Fincher is using these weathered photos as the visual inspiration for flashbacks. The almost sepia-toned aesthetic differentiates the gritty present from the vintage-y past, and makes the connection that past events, captured in photos, will be the mechanism allowing Blomkvist and Salander to undercover the truth.
For those unfamiliar with the novel, this scene — in which Blomkvist and Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer), who hires the journalist to investigate his niece’s disappearance — unveils the first creepy clue of the story. Henrik has been receiving pressed flowers, in frames, for years. He’s certain they’re taunts from Harriet’s killer, as the young girl used to present such gifts to her uncle. It turns out that Blomkvist himself has a connection to the Vanger clan, as he spent time as a young child on the family’s remote estate. Taken together, these representations of the past — both in the form of memories and in physical frames — spur the reluctant journalist to take on the assignment. Well, that and the fact that he’s recently suffered a profound professional humiliation and Henrik is offering him a lucrative payout.
To assist him in the investigation, Blomkvist hires Salander, a young woman with a history of being institutionalized and underestimated. The truth is, she’s a brilliant hacker with a photographic memory, as this scene makes clear. Blomkvist shows her a key piece of evidence — a set of names and phone numbers from Harriet’s diary — but she needn’t take another look. Salander has already memorized the information. Blomkvist realizes he’s picked the perfect partner. And he also doesn’t complain that she’s strikingly beautiful; the journalist is something of a ladies’ man, and this duo ends up having success both on the case and in the bedroom.
As we said above, photos are the key clues in this case. Here we see evidence of Blomkvist and Salander’s big break, tthe photo that unlocks everything. In the book, it’s an enormously satisfying moment. After hitting roadblock after roadblock, the case finally picks up momentum, and the rest of the story proceeds at a breakneck pace. So head’s up: Once this scene plays out in the film, hold onto your seat — it’s going to get crazy and violent and freaky from here on out.
That’s not to say there’s not plenty of crazy and freaky violence before that photo pops up. This quick shot shows Salander exacting some well-deserved revenge on Nils Bjurman, the sadistic lawyer who oversees her casework. Earlier in the trailer, we see Bjurman explaining to Salander that his assistance comes hand-in-hand with his unwanted sexual advances. Eventually Salander pays him back for his perversions: Bjurman, meet ball gag. It’s gruesome stuff. And it shows how Salander may look meek and helpless, but when she’s backed into a corner she can come up with some of the most creative and brutal acts of vengeance imaginable.
Check out everything we’ve got on “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.”
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