Wednesday, 8 September 2010

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Rain has kept me away from the blog and in the confines of the pub / living room sofa. That does mean I've been watching lots of films, though!

I thoroughly enjoyed the Swedish original of GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO. I read the book and quite liked it - thrillers aren't my thing, but I appreciated it was well-written and complex. And I'm a huge fan of Scandinavian fiction (Miss Smilla's Feeling For Snow) and film (KINGDOM, LET THE RIGHT ONE IN). Scandinavian stuff seems to have this wonderful slow yet gripping pacing. And everything is so dour, with a doleful, mournful beauty.

THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATOO was yet another example of marvellous Scandinavian cinema. Sweden is beautiful. The actors look like real people. The pacing had a fantastically slow build.

The controversial scenes - most of them involving Lisbeth's violent reactions to authority, and the scene where she is sexually exploited - and her glorious revenge - were beautifully realised and handled.

Also, this was a great example of a film that knows the difference between films and books. It left out plot and some characterisation. It speeded up events, and treated the detective process a little differently. The end result? I barely noticed the difference, because it left out the RIGHT things, and tightened the characters. It felt like a film that didn't have to rush because it had given itself room to move.

A big thumbs up from me!

I did have about three people in the video rental shop warn me it was a foreign film, though. With subtitles.

It's okay, folks. I LOVE subtitles! And in a film with spread-out pacing like this, you actually get the time to read them :)