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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Last night, N. and I watched the Girl with Dragon Tattoo.

I've not read the books, but she has, and she said it was a fairly faithful adaptation of the novel. As a film, I thought it was alright. Slick, easy going, nothing special, nothing terrible. I neither recommend, nor tell you to avoid it.

Afterward, I thought, remember when David Fincher made films that were more than that? Seven and Fight Club are so long ago now that I guess this is the real Fincher, with the overblown opening sequence that looks like a mix of a music video and a Bond opening, and a by the numbers thriller that engages you well enough until the end and leaves your mind a few hours later. Ah well. What can you do? Even his good films are by no means the most amazing pieces of cinema you've ever seen, but they look like it when compared to what he's doing now.

My only complaint about the film related to the violence that happens to the female lead of the film, Lizbeth (played by Rooney Mara). There was a strange voyeurism in the scenes where she was raped, as if Fincher was shying away from making them as awful as they could be, knowing full well that they had to not turn the audience off, and this remain, somehow, palatable to the audience. I found it uncomfortable from the point of view that what was happening here was awful, but in how the scenes were put together that was a voyeuristic quality, and in the way that the scenes were made, an almost tacit acceptance of them, as if the non-consensual part of it was not that important.

Did anyone else have that feel?

Comments

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ashamel
May. 2nd, 2012 01:03 am (UTC)
I've only seen the Swedish movie, which I thought was pretty good -- although the I wasn't so keen on the sequels. I'll catch up with the Fincher version when it turns up on DVD.

The only one of his last four movies I've seen is The Social Network -- and whilst I thought the whole point of the movie was somewhat misguided, I did think it was superbly made. I must see Zodiac some time.
benpeek
May. 3rd, 2012 05:13 am (UTC)
yeah, i never saw the social network. i have a facebook account. it's enough for me ;)
Keith Stevenson
May. 3rd, 2012 04:57 am (UTC)
Re the voyeurism - I haven't seen the movies yet, but there is a strong small 'p' political theme running through the book about violence against women, backed up with actual statistics (Larsson as reporter not writer). Perhaps the film is trying to make you uneasy in the way that the book's stark facts and figures made me as a reader uneasy about the everyday reality of violence against women.
benpeek
May. 3rd, 2012 05:12 am (UTC)
nik said that the theme was in the books, but she reckoned there was a different vibe to it in them than in the film. she said what happens to lizbeth is much worse in the books, but also has some difference in the set up, and in conveying the horror of it.

it's made me a touch curious about the books, though, and i never had much interest before this.
ataxi
May. 3rd, 2012 01:52 pm (UTC)
The book (just in my opinion) is pretty terrible, and my recollection is that the rape and the subsequent revenge are handled in a pretty exploitative 'I Spit On Your Grave' sort of manner. Haven't seen the film.
ataxi
May. 3rd, 2012 01:58 pm (UTC)
A film I've just seen that includes a rape scene—and many other scenes—that is decidedly unsettling due to the repellent, dispassionate way its shocking content is set up and shot, is Paddy Considine's directorial debut Tyrannosaur.
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