Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Movie Review

Girl with the dragon tattoo poster

After watching The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, I think I'm beginning see the appeal of the novel (which I haven't read).  It has everything you could possibly want in a thriller--a down-on-his-luck reporter.  Femme fatales.  Nazis!  Reclusive millionaires!  Serial killers!  Creepy portraits of beautiful women √° la Laura!  Deviant sexual behavior!  And a happy ending.

Mikael Blomkvist is the last true investigative reporter in the world, but tangles with a corrupt corporation that's too big for him and winds up losing all journalistic creditability, not to mention receiving a prison sentence for libel.  Depressed and unemployed, he accepts a sketchy job on a remote island, searching for the killer of a girl who disappeared over 40 years ago.  Meanwhile, a Goth with amazing research skillz, Lisbeth Salander, is obsessed with Blomkvist and winds up helping him catch the killer.  Did I say help?  This guy couldn't find a tree in a forest.

There's a lot of rape and abuse in the movie, and it is very disturbing, but weirdly the film doesn't wind up being depressing.  I think this is because of how the story is resolved--both of the women involved can and do fight against their attackers, and all the characters get their just reward in the d√©nouement.  It leaves one with the sense that no matter what terrible experiences one suffers in life, there's the possibility of moving forward and starting anew.  In that sense, the story is very cathartic.

The actor who plays Blomkvist, Michael Nyqvist, has a strange sort of Mulder-eque appeal.  Despite his pockmarked face and hairy beer gut, I could believe Lisbeth might sleep with him.  Maybe.  Although I never understood her obsession with him--perhaps she's intrigued by the fact that he's a completely honorable person.  When he wore metallic pants in the Australian Outback, though, it kind of threw me.  Honestly, dude, you sleep with a twenty-four-year-old and suddenly you think you're a rock star?  Reality check: no way.  Further reality check: metallic pants in the Outback are totally impractical.

Lisbeth, meanwhile, is totally kick-ass.  She literally does everything in this movie--if it wasn't for her, Blomkvist wouldn't have even gotten the job on the island, let alone everything that came afterward.  She's also the only original element of this story.  Without Lisbeth, the reporter, reclusive millionaire, and serial killer would seem pretty cheesy and predictable.  It's Lisbeth's character that mixes it up and makes it seem more authentic than it is.  I'm definitely interested in finding out what happens next with her character.

This is unequivocally a movie for adults only, but I don't think there's any reason not to watch it.  There are very graphic scenes, but I didn't feel as if they were gratuitous or glamorized what was happening.  And besides that, the film told a good story with excellent visuals from start to finish.  I definitely recommend watching it if you're at all interested.

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