Hollywood vs Swedish version

Swedish Lisbeth

Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander

Photo Courtesy of: scharm60

Noomi Rapace plays Lisbeth Salander in the Swedish version of the movie “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” which is more accurately titled “Men Who Hate Women.” I enjoyed Rapace’s take on the character as she definitely makes for a very believable and convincing Lisbeth Salander.

With that said, I think it is important for this character to be strong… though never forgetting she is human, and has both weaknesses and vulnerabilities. While we do see some of those weaknesses and vulnerabilites from Rapace, I feel she plays the role too loudly. By loud, I mean, there is no sense of quietness to her performance. Yes, she plays the internal Lisbeth, but if you could apply a decibel range to her harsh and angry facial expressions and body language, you’d probably have to stick a couple of cotton balls in your ears. Now this is not to say that Rapace doesn’t play the quiet, internal Lisbeth well. I just feel that it is less apparent then in Rooney Mara’s performance. With Rapace, I was left wanting to see more of the ‘damaged’ Lisbeth; not always angry and sometimes scared, but also a sullen and eerily quiet Lisbeth.

In short, and in my estimation, she played Lisbeth a little too rough and tough… or as some would say, a little too badass…Though don’t mistake me, as I want to make clear Noomi Rapace IS a phenomenal Lisbeth, and does an outstanding job in portraying her character, though I just feel that Rooney Mara’s Lisbeth was a little more spot on.

Hollywood Lisbeth

Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander

Photo Courtesy of: K0Ks3nw4i

Rooney Mara plays Lisbeth Salander in the Hollywood version of “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo”… In my opinion, her portrayal is truer to the book. I think she plays a bit more sensitive to the nuances of the character. Rooney’s performance seems delicately strong…and I like to use the adjective delicate, as she truly plays this role with a sense of delicacy, which I feel is extremely important.  While Lisbeth Salender seems on the outer surface as just a badass type, she is truly multi-dimensional. The internal quietness is captured perfectly. The internal struggle, questioning, fear, anger, and determination is handled with great care… Though not only does Mara play the quiet Lisbeth unbelievably well, she also plays the sensitive Lisbeth with a great sense of awareness to the character (via body language and expressions), though it is rare and if you are not keen to pick up on her subtle movements and behaviors, you are able to miss it. I think what I love most about Rooney Mara’s performance is she plays it with such subtlety, and to be honest, her Lisbeth is exactly how and what I pictured Lisbeth to be when reading the book.

Now if it so interests you, you should take a gander at this fella’s wonderful blog post that basically shares his take on the two film versions of Lisbeth.  He says it so well, and I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Which Lisbeth do you feel is truer to the book, and why?