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This is a small thing, and trivia too, but I'm really curious.

About halfway through the movie (1h20), Daniel Craig returns to the cabin. He finds the cat's dish outside, shouts "cat!" at the outdoors to summon the animal, then brings the dish into the kitchen.

These events then transpire over perhaps 3 seconds:

At precisely 1h20m51s, Craig grabs something atop the refrigerator, unintentionally knocking over a bottle of water which rolls toward the edge of the fridge and then falls off.

He does not immediately react to the bottle tipping over, instead moving toward the sink with the item he retrieved. But he does notice the rolling bottle before it reaches the edge, turning and lunging to snatch the bottle out of the air before it reaches the ground.


Was the falling bottle planned? Or was this a genuine accident that the actor reacted to in the moment?

It's an interesting little event, and I'm considering how much to read into it.

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    I don't see this as trivia, it's about the motivation behind a particular shot. Trivia would be "What brand was the water?" – Tetsujin Apr 11 at 7:41
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The bottle falling from the fridge and Craig catching it was obviously a complete fluke. The action isn't in the script and listening to the commentary by David Fincher on the Blu-ray also makes it clear that this was an accident that just happened to appear in the best take of the bunch.


The point of the scene is establishing that someone has been inside the cottage (this is from scene 143 from the script):

He gets out with his satchel. Whistles for the cat -

I'm home.

He picks up the bowl of food he left on the porch, unlocks the door, goes inside, and sees the cat napping on his desk. He stares at it. Then at the door he just came through. Then the windows: all shut.


The scene as featured in the movie is somewhat different: Blomkvist calls out for the cat -- literally yelling "Cat!" -- but doesn't get a response, picks up the bowl of food left outside, enters the cottage, sets down his bag on the floor, sets the bowl on the kitchen counter, does something on the top of the refrigerator and accidentally knocks over a bottle of water, turns away but notices it just in time, runs back to the fridge and catches the bottle of water.

Meanwhile the camera is tracking to the left, and us viewers discover the cat lying on the table, vigorously licking itself, and then Blomkvist also notices the cat. And then the cat apparently notices Blomkvist, and gets up and approaches him while he approaches the cat. Blomkvist starts petting the cat and looks surprised to find it inside, and glances around.


This is what Fincher is saying on the commentary track:

You hear about them, and it's a moment in time when Daniel Craig knocks over this bottle of water which rolls to the edge, and then he deftly leans back in like Gene Kelly and catches that bottle of water and puts it up on the refrigerator. And then we track over and the cat does exactly what the cat's supposed to do. This is probably take 16 or something. And we maybe shot two more after this, hoping -- I don't know what we could hope for that would be better than that.


Earlier in the commentary Fincher has already pointed out that they didn't even bother trying to teach the cat to do specific things, they simply worked around it, hoping it would do "cat things" in the appropriate moment.

Undoubtedly, this is one of those takes where the cat "acted" beyond all expectations. It washing himself, then noticing Blomkvist/Craig, getting up and responding to the pets it gets: it is just perfect. You cannot wish for a better take. That this take also features the accident with the bottle is just a happy coincidence, but it makes the take even more perfect. Like Fincher says: "You hear about them, and it's a moment in time".

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