The Movie. Not the book.
Either the Swedes know how to make movies better than Hollywood or they are not concerned about things such as an A-rating or censor board. Whatever the reason, they are the perfect people to make this movie about one of the grittiest and most interesting heroines fiction has seen in a while.
The first movie I watched – Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – was actually shot in Swedish but dubbed into english… so there was that bizzare disconnect between the language and the lip movement. And the American accent, though the dubbing was decent, lacked something. I would have preferred to watch it with subtitles instead.
But once you get used to the slight dislocation, if i can call it that, the movie does pull you in. It isn’t fast.. but neither is the book. And for once, the director (anyone know who?) sticks to the original plot. He perhaps leaves some of the things unsaid as not so important to the plot – like Harriet Vanger’s eventual involvement in the magazine or Blomkovist’s womanizing – but the rest of it is so real that is gets painful sometimes.
If you think the scene where Lisbeth is raped is disturbing, far more is the scene where she gets her revenge. It is all true to the book… but I guess I had managed to block some of it from my mind. And you simply cannot look away from the sheer… horror of it.
Lisbeth is someone you need time to get used to. The first impression of her is punk. Like the author intended. And then you take a minute and look again and you realise she is quite beautiful. She is abrupt, cranky and brilliant.
The movie seemed real. Was it because it was different from the general Hollywood scenes or the distant African landscapes I had seen recently? I loved movies like Babel, American Gangster or even Blood Diamond. But this was different. This was here. Now. Real. With hacking, computers, beautiful snow covered landscapes, the rich blues of the Scandinavian landscapes and the trees.
The second movie was more of a relief. It was in Swedish. The voices are stronger… the inflections better. Only halfway through yet… they are quite long movies.
So watch this space for more.