June 10th, 2010

on film

The girl who went to the movie.

Sorry I've been gone so long. Real life crap has been consuming my every thought lately, and I'm not really at a point that I can write about it yet.*

At any rate, I went to see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo last night. As ya'll know, I got sucked into the series last summer, and I loved it.

The movie was excellent. It was very faitful to the book, drawing out the parts of the book that were pertinent. They did an excellent job with the adaptation, streamlining some of the characters, but not sacrificing any of the plot. The woman who played Lisbeth Salandar was excellent--everything I imagined the character to be and more. She played the part perfectly, and I'm looking forward to seeing her performance in the next two installments. It was also refreshing to see an entire cast that looked like regular people, not movie stars. I had no idea who any of the actors were, so I didn't have any preconceived notions about their relative worths to the director and native viewing population for the film. I did of course, know the plot very well, so I knew who would be important later on down the line, but that was entirely based off the story, not the casting.

I can't ever remember seeing a Swedish film before, and I thought that the settings were lovely. Every now and then I'd catch a word or two that sounded familiar, but I fear that I'd be pretty lost without a translator and/or an entire population that also speaks English.

I will warn that anyone who has a serious problem watching women horribly abused (hopefully that is everyone) will be very cautious going into this movie. There are some awful, awful scenes. I was able to get through them because a) I knew about them, and b) I knew what was coming next. But they are probably the most horrific violence against women scenes I've ever seen on screen.

I am very glad that this series of movies is coming out in the US to such acclaim. Apparently the first one is on its way to becoming one of the best recieved limited release films in the US, and the second is due to come out relatively soon. There's talk, of course, about an American adaptation of the book. A-list actors are lining up to be considered for the male protagonist, and American media breathlessly reports on that. Of course, this solidifies my suspicion that such a film will miss the whole damned point. Salandar is the important one, not Blomkvist. She's who drives the reader, the viewer, to keep on going through the awful, awful parts. He's very awesome, and I don't want to undermine his role, but casting soemone like Daniel Craig? Brad Pitt? It just seems ridiculous and clearly only about the money, not the work itself.

One of the things I really liked about the books was the resiliency and strength of the women, despite how awfully men treated them. Women are not relegated to side characters, nor are they simply potential love interests. And despite the "Girl" nomer in the titles of the US translations (the original Swedish title for the first novel translates to "Men who hate women"), the characters in the novels are refreshingly very adult.

I'm sure curiosity will get the better of me and I'll end up seeing whatever Hollywood spits out, but I'm glad that this original Swedish version is out there. And I'm glad that I saw it early on, with someone else who appreciated the story as much as I did.

*Uh, it occured to me that this may be cryptic and worrisome. It's not anything for anyone but me to worry about. I'm fine. Graham's fine. Our respective friends, families and dogs are fine. We just have a very sudden thing pop up, that could be awesome, but requires lots of stress in a short amount of time, especially on my part.