Disregarding how redundant it may seem to be remaking director Niels Arden Oplev’s excellent Swedish adaptation of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2009) for a moment, this four minute trailer for David Fincher’s stab at book one in novelist Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy is pretty special. For the first time we experience Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander speaking (broad accent) and properly moving (sometimes fighting) in her costume. Early indications are that Mara might just pull this off.
If you already know the story of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, maybe because you have read the book or seen the original film, there is little point in recapping it for you. If you do not know the story, it is imperative you avoid any spoilers, so we will be doing you a favour there too.
The trailer itself is almost a condensed version of the movie, but nothing ruins the overall plot, plus there is much to enjoy. Daniel Craig (no accent) as Mikael Blomkvist is particularly charismatic and brooding in layered greys, untucked casual shirt, matching jacket, waistcoat and jeans. The real focus, however, has got to be Lisbeth.
Costume designer for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is Trish Summerville. Established with music promos (Pink, Christina Aguilera) and more importantly film (Desert Blue, assistant CD on Fincher’s The Game), Summerville has approached this project with the intention of really understanding who Lisbeth is and what makes her tick. Moreover she has also collaborated with hight street chain H&M on a collection of Lisbeth inspired seperates.
Lisbeth’s overall style is obviously similar to Noomi Rapace’s incarnation in the Swedish version, yet Mara appears even more drained and physically fragile. It is a Topshop punk affair, where leather pants meet asymmetric vests, wool scarves and hoodies. The black leather jacket glimpsed when Lisbeth is riding her motorcycle was likely Summerville’s jumping off point. This well worn garment symbolises Lisbeth as tough, rebellious and, essential to note, damaged.
There are actually two leather jackets used in the film, one custom made by the “First Lady of Leather” Agatha Blois, the other by Cerre. Presumably Summerville wanted to imply Lisbeth has owned these coats for many years. They are a second skin, a comfort blanket or more appropriately in the circumstances, armour.
A major theme of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is the consequences of sexual violence. Moreover, Lisbeth’s sexuality becomes important as it denotes her desire to live outside of ‘normal’ society. Lisbeth does whatever feels good; presenting her sexuality as atypical in some way is an interesting means of placing us on guard. We have already judged Lisbeth as wayward, maybe even untrustworthy and yet ultimately her actions will tell a different tale.
With a colour palette verging on black and white, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is probably not going to be a cheery affair. It will surely be cool though – cool and stylish. Trish Summerville’s fashionably hip costume design goes a long way to securing this. If a return to Heroin Chic seems improbable, let’s just see if a biker jacket revival does not happen (again). Copious piercings, blonde eyebrows, emo hair, tattoos and those essential leathers – Rooney Mara will make Lisbeth Salander a style icon.
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo directed by David Fincher is released in the U.S. on 21st December and UK on Boxing Day.
You can watch movies online including Noomi Rapace in the Swedish adaptation of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo at LOVEFiLM.com.
© 2011 – 2012, Christopher Laverty.