Friday, April 16, 2010

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo: Nothing Funny Here


The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is a Swedish thriller/mystery film. I've got some serious mixed feelings about it.

The movie kicks off with Mikael Blomkvist, an investigative reporter, being sued by someone for slander after writing an article accusing him of committing some crimes. He loses the suit because of all his sources disappear, and evidence is presented which shows all of his evidence as fraudulent.

Shortly after he's offered a job from a very wealthy retired businessman, Henrik Vanger. Henrik wants Mikael to investigate what happened to his niece who disappeared nearly 40 years prior without a trace. Every year on her birthday, Henrik receives a pressed flower from somewhere in the world, and he is convinced that this is her murderer taunting him.

The second Protagonist is Lisbeth Salanger, a hacker/investigator working for a private firm who is originally hired by Vanger to investigate Mikael to see if he was guilty of the libel he was charged with. A little background is that in some European countries, if you are ruled mentally or emotionally incapable of caring for yourself, you may get a court appointed "Guardian" this guardian is responsible for all of the details of your estate, meaning that they can lock down your bank account and funds, and make it so that they have to approve all of your expenditures, among other things I'm sure. It's not immediately clear why Lisbeth required a guardian, but the important fact is that her previous guardian dies, and she's assigned a new guardian, which locks down her accounts, and then forces her to perform sexual favors in exchange for access to her money. An alternate title for this movie is apparently "Men Who Hate Women", which I really didn't know going into it.

This leads into the main thing that made me not enjoy this movie. I've always felt that rape is particularly monsterous, and any depiction of it greatly disturbs me. I won't go into any details, but even the next day, I still feel... disgusted.

The title of this post is a little misleading, there is some humor to be had in this movie, Lisbeth is a surprisingly well adjusted person, all things considered, but that still leaves her with quite a few quirks, and it's amusing to see the bafflement on Mikael's face after some of his interactions with her.

So, it's a pretty good whodunit, with an appropriately monstrous villain, and I found myself riveted to the film even though there were quite a few things I didn't want to see.

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