Rape, Incest, Murder, and Gun Running

The film adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo came out in theaters this weekend.  Made in Swedish with English subtitles, it’s a smack in the face for those who haven’t read the book.  Director Niels Arden Oplev makes 2 and a half hours of horror and bleakness feel like a full-octane race down the Autobahn.  There are no apologies, no  short cuts, and no backing down from Larsson’s subject matter.  In the ladies room afterward I heard one woman after another exclaiming that they almost walked out at least five different times.  Almost, I thought because despite the violence, you just can’t walk out.  You have to know what happens.

The film reads like a true-life story of sadistic foreplay as the audience waits on the edge of their seats for the main event.  Surprisingly, it isn’t the discovery of the lost Vanger girl, which we’ve followed through one research effort after another.  It isn’t even the unveiling of a twisted serial killer who’s lurked beneath our noses the entire film.  No, it’s Lisbeth Salander, a flat-chested, pierced, and tattooed, bisexual misfit hacker who captures us with her oddly abrupt and prickly demeanor.  Her life is one that few would envy and by the end of the film, despite one bombshell after another, we’re riveted to our strange new heroine and what will become of her after leaving Mikael Blomkvist.

I saw the movie with my husband, who had not read the book prior to me dragging him to the theater, and I am happy to report that he too enjoyed the film.  Well perhaps enjoyed isn’t the right word…appreciated?  Respected?  Thought was very well done?  The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo will be confusing at first, but stay with it and you’ll understand why people are sitting in their seats to the very end.  I’m sure Hollywood is going to make an adaptation and all I can say is, see the movie in it’s intended Swedish version because Noomi Rapace (who plays Lisbeth Salander) and Michael Nyqvist (Mikael Blomkvist) are brilliant under the masterful direction of Niels Arden Oplev.  I give this movie 12 dead bodies and two bloody thumbs up.  Coming next stateside, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.  They’re already made and ready for American consumption.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Rape, Incest, Murder, and Gun Running

  1. m

    I have to go see it now that I’ve started the 3rd and final novel. The first book is essential to understanding what goes on in the 2nd book and now, most definitely, the 3rd and final book. I’m savoring every bit of it so I’m afraid you’ll have to wait until after you are back from vacation to retrieve from me. I’m so sad that the author died as he is extremely talented (ok, twisted too!)

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