The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist

Last night, I took the time to watch The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, or the more appropriate title, Men Who Hate Women. Having read the books last year in French, I had been trying to find the movies. It took a while for them to be released and for me to find them. Yesterday, I also discovered that all three Stieg Larsson books were made into movies last year in Sweden. I’m sure that an English version is under way, but I have to say that the Swedish film is pretty good.

Noomi Rapace

It’s also quite long, about 2:20 hours. Naturally, of all the characters introduced, Lisbeth Salander is the most interesting. She is played by Noomi Rapace and she definitely looks the part. The actress is extremely well-toned, with her muscles even bulging in certain scenes. This is kind of strange, since she does look quite thin. The dragon tattoo is also different from what I imagined. I expected something like a Chinese or Japanese style tattoo, when in fact it was quite modern. The dragon claws look like they are piercing her skin.

The movie is what I expected. It’s pretty faithful to the book, with all of the same details that were included. I’ve read that some critics consider the movie a flawed adaptation. It’s natural that any adaptation of this page-turning won’t be perfect. In fact, I expect the American version to be thoroughly Hollywoodized, so I’m not expecting much.

So, the Swedish version is de rigueur, even if it has some disturbing scenes, including a rape scene that’s hard to watch. Actually, I found that the scene in Irreversible was much harder to watch.

I’m seeing a lot of Canadian reviews on this movie. The movie was only released in the US and other English-speaking countries last month. It was released in February 2009 in Sweden.

All in all, it’s a good movie and I’d recommend it. Just like most critics, I’d recommend watching the Swedish version: the upcoming American version will probably be more deeply flawed than this one.

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Author: range

I'm mathematician/IT strategist/blogger from Canada living in Taipei.

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