Tuesday, 3 January 2012

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011):

So … 2011 is gone and we’re now into 2012. I’ll be 44 this year and there’s still so much I want to do.
I’ve broke from my normal way of doing stuff, which could be viewed as a form of organized chaos; I wrote out a daily schedule which I try to stick to as a New Year’s resolution – again something I don’t usually do. My intention is to manage my time more efficiently and consequently become more productive. My failing in the past is that I have a tendancy to forget that time actually exists. I get engrossed in something and forget to check the clock, so I forget other stuff I wanted to get done and before I know it – my stomach is growling for food and most of the day has gone.
Now, I’ll stick to a more strict schedule. If I don’t get some things done in the allotted time, it will have to roll over to the next day.
Already, in the past 3 days I have seen a benefit. I’ve also had more time to practise yoga, Tai chi, and the harmonica.
We’ll see how it all goes.
Looking back over December just gone, I also broke from my usual way of doing things when I went to see my last cinema movie of 2011. I held off watching the original 2009 movie adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, starring Noomi Rapace in the titular role of Lisbeth Salander, because I prefer to read the source novels first before seeing the movie adaptations. I have Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Series trilogy of novels: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets' Nest sitting on my bookshelf, waiting for me to read them. However, I was in the city, footsore, in need of coffee and I’d already been tempted by the movie trailer, so I broke from the norm, came in from the cold, paid at the box office, and took my seat in the dark auditorium.
Few modern directors make dark thrillers better than David Fincher. His previous movies: Se7en, Panic Room and Fight Club have become modern classics. His talent for dark atmospherics was already established with the hugely under-rated Alien 3.
Daniel Craig plays magazine publisher, Mikael Blomkvist, hired by Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer) to solve the mystery surrounding the murder of his young neice. This is an engrossing and multi-layered story, with a great cast playing a variety of characters that keeps the audience guessing. Mikael Blomkvist is credibly written; not the usual thriller protagonist: he shivers in the Spartan conditions of the cramped cottage he’s using as a base for his investigation, he bungles, gets hurt and needs rescuing from situations. At first angered when he finds out his background has been looked into by computer hacker and investigator Lisbeth Salander, he sees her potential and hires her to help him investigate the case. The story deals with subjects that will shake many out of their comfort zone. The theme of violence against women is never an easy one to handle and it’s presented here stark and unflinchingly.
The movie runs at almost two hours, forty minutes, but it goes by fast and left me wanting more, the mark of both great movie-making and superior story telling.
The anti-social goth Salander is by far a stronger character than Blomkvist, who would have surely perished without her intervention. She has the knack of remaining detached when he finds himself repulsed by the gory details and is compelled to turn away. She is diminutive in stature and damaged by her past experiences, having fallen victim to sleaze balls in her own life, but she’s not to be under-estimated, as several learn when they feel her wrath.
I fully recommend The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo for lovers of dark thrillers with vigilante themes.
Lisbeth Salander is a lot like many books we find and know nothing about: you can’t judge them by their cover alone.

1 comment:

  1. I don't think I'll be interested in reading the books, but I may rent this when it's out on DVD.