I was on the fence about seeing the Swedish adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s book, Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. But I’m glad I did. In short, it replicates some of the big problems with the book, such as dwelling far too much on particulars of crimes against women. There MUST be better ways to shed light on and criticize something without potentially fetishizing it, right? I wonder what a woman director might make of this.
But it also was a mostly faithful adaptation of the book parts of the book, such as Lisbeth. The character looks and feels true to the book, and it’s much of why I enjoyed these books in spite of their problems, and thus enjoyed the adaptation, too. I was surprised and pleased at the casting of the actor who played Blomkvist–not only is he not conventionally good looking, but he’s often kind of funny looking, and it’s a pleasant contrast to what will be done in Hollywood, I’m sure. But it helped with one of the film’s other departures from the book–Blomkvist doesn’t have women falling into bed with him as much, though it is, unfortunately, still there. I see the point Larsson was probably trying to make: Blomkvist loves women in all their shapes, sizes, abilities, etc. and is in contrast to the many men in this book/film who pathologically hate women. Yet he’s still such a Mary Sue character that his bedroom escapades feel ridiculous. And why is it that only the deviant sex is described/shown, not the healthy stuff?
In any case, as with the book, a qualified recommendation. Not for the squeamish, but definitely for those who love Lisbeth.