The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
January 9, 2012
Full disclosure: I haven’t read the book or seen the Swedish version of the movie. My friends and I went to this because of the 4-5 movies out now that we kind of want to see, this had the most convenient start time.
I almost didn’t write about this at all because I fear my reaction to it is idiosyncratic and unhelpful. It tripped a few too many of my narrative cliche/kick-ass heroine pet peeves. For example, a half hour into the film:
Mikael: How did Harriet die?
Henrik: Oh, the body was never found.
Me: Then she’s not dead and she’ll turn up alive by the end of the movie.
*two hours later*
Harriet: OMG how did you find me!
Me: Wow, this is a long movie.
(As an aside, this plot twist is predictable enough that I’ve seen a few TV mysteries rig it so that the cops may not find a body, but they find enough of the victim’s blood that “she couldn’t possibly have survived.” When in fact the “victim” saved many pints of her blood to leave at the scene of her disappearance so no one would look for her. This, too, has become cliche.)
Many people like this movie. There’s a nice mystery/thriller tucked inside it somewhere. But I spent most of its nearly three hours (!) rewriting it in my head. I’m curious about the book now, if it maybe handles some of this a bit more deftly.
Oh, and then we get to the end credits, which feature a goth/industrial remake of Bryan Ferry’s “Is Your Love Strong Enough,” that originally appeared on the soundtrack to Legend. Dear reader, I laughed. I wondered if this was some sort of statement, like “Let’s take this song from a 30 year old fantasy movie about how innocence and light face darkness and evil and redo it for this movie about confronting human depravity, to suggest that innocence simply isn’t that powerful.” Like, maybe there’s some deeper meaning I’m supposed to be getting. Or, as my friend suggested, maybe they just figured nobody would remember that song existed. Nobody but me, that is.
(P.S.: I should also mention, this film is not for the squeamish.)