The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Discussion in 'Entertainment and Movie Talk' started by Art Andrews, May 6, 2012.

  1. Art Andrews

    Art Andrews Community Owner Community Staff

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    I wish I had known that the original title of the book that this movie was based on was "Men Who Hate Women" because I wouldn't have watched the movie.

    I have heard about this trilogy for quite some time and heard it be given a lot of praise. Well, in my opinion, it was not only about a subject matter I don't like to watch (men being violent with women), but it was just not a good movie in general. It was slow, boring, and the ending... well, the ending was so tacked on, one would think this came from Hollywood, not Sweden. The big "mystery" was solved in very contrived and unbelievable ways and in my opinion, few of the characters were compelling. If you are one of the people who thought this was a good movie (good enough to have an American version made), please explain what you liked about it.
     
  2. Jedi2016

    Jedi2016 Sr Member

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    Which version are we talking about here? I haven't seen the American one.
     
  3. Art Andrews

    Art Andrews Community Owner Community Staff

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    Swedish extended version on Netflix.
     
  4. Sandman0077

    Sandman0077 Sr Member

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    American version was long and..confusing in the sense that in the first hour the girl and guy had nothing to do with eachother really. Like watching two different movies at once. But i thought overall it was a decent watch. Haven't seen the Swedish version but knowing how us Americans like to change things around I can't imagine they have the same exact flaws.
     
  5. CutThumb

    CutThumb Sr Member

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    One of those films where the novel is by far better "entertainment?", but I still felt all three of them were over rated. Larsson as the reporter comes through in his writing style, and the plots (and subplotting) are ultra dense and, at times , tiringly like well research newspaper articles stitched (not all together convincingly) together. Compared to something like "Silence of the Lambs" which is perhaps THE classic, they feel slow and bloated.
    However, its his characters that make for compelling reading and Lisbeth represents one of the best and most interesting female leads I've come across in alongtime. Apparently Larsson based her on a very disturbing incident he witnessed as a teenager. The film doesn't do Lisbeths complexity any justice at all, and the tagged on summary incomparisson to the novel really underplays her hacking ,photographic memory and other skills. She is an ultra intelligent but terrible damaged individual (you need to read the other two) and becomes the equivalent of a kind of urban european female Jason Bourne (but without all the gun play and body count!).
    The graphic scenes in the films or novels are perhaps some of the most uncomfortable I've ever read but Larsson was a strong and keen supporter of womens rights amoungst others and a total good guy (its a shame he died so early). Of all the people that I know have read them, its the guys who are appalled by what happens but the girls who really get into the whole story of Lisbeth and her character. Which, I'm glad to say says something good about developing equality in modern times. Never saw the Hollywood version, once was enough.
     
  6. Art Andrews

    Art Andrews Community Owner Community Staff

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    Clearly that didn't translate to the film as Lisbeth came across as pretty cookie-cutter to me. I wanted there to be more to her... and there just never was.

    I was waiting for this to happen; waiting for her to shine, and she just never did, nor was there ever much explanation for her motivations or reasoning. She just came across as damaged goods that did things that defy logic and understanding.

    Perhaps I am just getting old and crotchety (at 36), but I just don't want to see women getting raped. I know it is sometimes part of a story and that is fine, but I don't want to see it. There is little imagery that is more upsetting than that, and I just don't want to subject myself to it on pretty much any level... and when a film seems to linger on it, I am done. I understand it is supposed to horrify and appall, but I can be plenty horrified without it being graphically spelled out. I dunno. That just completely turned me off as it didn't seem necessary.
     
  7. CutThumb

    CutThumb Sr Member

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    I agree, most of the strengths of Lisbeth are totally lost in the film. Its when you come to understand her whole life story through the other two novels you realize just how capable she is. The word "clever" would not do her justice.
    However, as I've said they are not typical thrillers. I preffered the second one by far, the excessive unpleasentness to women is replaced to some extent by what corrupts people politically and personally plus Lisbeths mental agility is far better explained, though her journey doesn't get any easier. The third one is hard going, about a quarter of it could have comfortably been cut out with one subplot and about another quarter about due court process and government coldwar powerplays bored me to tears.
    The film versions obviously suffer similarly as its difficult to describe visually whats going on in Lisbeths head. Theres also a very "european" pace to them as well and they are really slow burners.
    I know Sweden fairly well having been over there a few times ,infact I'm due back there much later in the year as a friend of mines marrying his swedish girlfriend.Great country, lovely people and superb in the summer. Was not so keen on it in the winter though! Which is why the books were an interesting read for me.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2012
  8. LOGANCLAW22

    LOGANCLAW22 Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    American Version was better. A few of the scenes were disturbing but overall I loved the movie. I hope they make American Versions of last 2 books.

    Paul
     
  9. Jeyl

    Jeyl Master Member

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    People like that exist Art. I for one think there's not enough material out there that deals with the subject matter outside of being a typical plot point in most movies where the good guy's girlfriend is captured/killed by the bad guys.

    However, I do strongly recommend the American version by David Fincher. The film is wonderfully shot, well casted, well acted, and the music is very effective. I personally prefer this version over the Swedish version even though that one has many merits of it's own.
     
  10. Birdie

    Birdie Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Fincher's version looked pretty, but I found the story-telling very muddled and confusing, and Reznor's score jarring and annoying. The Swedish extended version (actually the original miniseries cut rather than the theatrical) changed more from the book, but was better told, imo.

    The Swedish version also filled out a lot of the industrial espionage stuff surrounding Wennerstrom and Millenium.

    Interestingly, a lot of literary criticism was aimed at Larrson, for supposedly fetishising Lisbeth and the rape stuff, despite the fact that he was a big campaigner against violence to women.

    I enjoyed the trilogy, but Jo Nesbo is a better writer. Anyone interested in Scandinavian thrillers should check out his Harry Hole series, and the brilliant movie, Headhunters, based on his novel. Craps on both GWTDTmovies :)
     
  11. terryr

    terryr Sr Member

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    I liked it. I thought it was good 'cinema'. She's horribly abused, but gets some back at least. Most abused women don't.
    The fact you were uncomfortable shows how realistic it was. I'll bet no one batted an eye when Black Widow was 'tortured' in The Avengers.

    I think many Hollywood movies are much more misogynistic. There's a saying that the longer a director is in Hollywood the more he hates women.
    Death Proof is just an excuse to abuse women, and then tack on a 'but then they won' ending.
     
  12. asemblyrequired

    asemblyrequired Well-Known Member

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    i enjoyed the American version. It was different and I really liked the actress who played in it. Don't remember her name.


    -James
     
  13. Art Andrews

    Art Andrews Community Owner Community Staff

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    For me, it is more than enough just knowing this kind of thing happens in the world. It may seem like I am trying to stick my head in the sand, but it is simply a matter of me not wanting to see it anymore than is absolutely necessary. Seeing it doesn't make it more horrible or make me hate it more or make me somehow feel more sympathetic to women who endure this. I already hate it about as much as it can be hated. I feel the same way about most any kind of movie that involves extended torture scenes (no matter who the victim is... even if they are bad guys). If people have to die to move a story line along, so be it, but I do not like seeing someone graphically made to suffer over an extended period of time. It just seems unnecessary and at some point, exploitative.
     
  14. Birdie

    Birdie Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Given your tendency for posting about movies that have offended you, I'm thinking you might want to do some research before you go in, or avoid R rated movies.


    I'm pretty hard to offend, but I always check out content before I watch anything with my gf, she really hates most violent stuff.
     
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  15. Art Andrews

    Art Andrews Community Owner Community Staff

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    Maybe I am just not checking them enough, but I usually check a few reviews in Netflix and if I don't see anything too terrible, I will give the movie a watch.... for example, after reading a couple of reviews on Human Centipede, I knew all I needed to know that this was just not a movie for me.

    Don't get me wrong. I wasn't offended by Girl with the Dragon Tattoo... I just didn't care for it compared to how many people have recommended it and I particularly didn't care for the one rape scene which was more graphic than I care to see things. Just not my cup of tea and not my idea of "entertainment."

    I guess I need to post up a couple of threads about movies that I really liked, but they are few and far in between and it is more often that I watch a movie that everyone else seems to think is great and I watch it only to scratch my head about what exactly it was that everyone else loved.
     
  16. Clutch

    Clutch Master Member

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    Fincher's was poo. Asking her guy friend if she had permission to kill the baddie? WTF? And then the puppy love crap at the end??!!
     
  17. Jeyl

    Jeyl Master Member

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    Hey, they were doing an investigation case where his reputation and lively hood was at stake. I always saw her asking if she could kill him as her making sure that if she kills him, it won't make things worse. She's using her 'brain' by not acting totally irrational. I recommend listening to the commentary track because Fincher talks quite a bit about that very moment and what it's implications were.

    And for the puppy love?
    It didn't work out! And for crying out loud, Mikael is one of the few individuals in Lisbeth's life who not only respects her in her own field, but also trusts her enough that he'll give her a check for $50,000 when she just asks for it. This man obviously cared a lot for her and she opened herself up a quite a bit. Unfortunately he still hangs out with that lady friend so that killed any chance of them getting more personal. I don't think she lost respect for him, she just realized that this isn't the thing she thought would happen.
     
  18. Birdie

    Birdie Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The puppy love crap was also in the book and the extended Swedish movie. I agree that it's a bunch though. Basically, Larssen needed to set up Salander's disdain for Blomkvist that drives numerous plotlines in the next two books.

    Unfortunateley he has her act so out of charcter that it appears ludicrous.
     
  19. Birdie

    Birdie Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I think that happens to everyone. I didn't 'get' No Country for Old Men at all, and I find the Godfather movies quite hard going. And then there's Predator, which is really tough around here :lol
     
  20. Art Andrews

    Art Andrews Community Owner Community Staff

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    Well, we can agree on two of those. I don't know what in the world anyone saw in No Country for Old Men. That movie was just endlessly depressing. Godfather had its moments, but it isn't as great in my eyes as it seems to be in the eyes of everyone else.

    Now Predator... I liked...
     
  21. Art Andrews

    Art Andrews Community Owner Community Staff

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    And just as a note, I usually post when something effects me in a strong negative manner, especially when many others seem to like it, because I want to understand what everyone else thought was so great about it to see if there was something I have missed. It isn't just to trash a movie, but to get a deeper understanding of what others think.
     
  22. TheDoctor

    TheDoctor Sr Member

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    I didn't care for the Swedish version - it strayed much farther from the source material than the American version. The American version was quite good. I can't vouch for any story/plot things because, being the third time I've seen the story (book, swedish film, american film), everything was pretty familiar to me.

    As for the rape scene - I could definitely have done without it. I don't think it adds any more to the story to SHOW it than it would have if it IMPLIED it - in fact, it would have left it up to the imagination of the audience to imagine what he did to her. The worst part of it is that it doesn't build anything into Salandar's character - it doesn't send her into a depression, and neither does it send her crusading for her own rights - it's a speed bump in the road for her. Even in the films where they had a chance to show how it affects her character, they blew it.

    DISCLAIMER: I'm pretty sure ALL sex scenes where they show the couple having sex is un-necessary. I've never seen a scene involving sex where an implication wouldn't have done just as well. Do we need a ten minute sex scene or can we have Kirk kissing the woman then fade to him putting on his boots on the side of the bed? I got the same story out of it. Even in the sexually charged James Bond films, they imply, not show.
     
  23. Art Andrews

    Art Andrews Community Owner Community Staff

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    Thank you. You made my point much better than I did myself.
     
  24. Birdie

    Birdie Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Again, the scene plays heavily into what happens in the second two books as a plot device. As to whether it should be shown - that's really an artistic choice on the part of the director. I would argue that the brutality of the rape is necessary to understand Salander's character, and the nature of her revenge.

    When Bjurrman first assaults her (the, ahem, BJ), her reaction is to take a camera with her next time so she can get some power over him, and blackmail him into leaving her alone.

    The brutality of his second attack is unexpected to Lisbeth and the audience, and her revenge shows us a lot about her character - she's smart, resourceful and downright dangerous. Up to that point we've seen her as an aspergersy outsider. Now we know she's a force to be reckoned with.

    It also gets us to root for her. The revenge she takes on him looks downright psychopathic if we don't see what she's been subjected to.

    Later on in the trilogy we discover that Bjurrman's abuse of Lisbeth closeley reflects the treatment of her mother by her father, leading to an extreme act of violence in her childhood that creates her whole pathology.

    It also leads to Bjurrman's hatred and need for revenge againsts Salander which is the basis for the events of the second book.

    The director could, of course, have watered the whole scene down, shown it off camera etc, but that would be diluting the stories and the motivations of the characters.

    Bear in mind that the Swedish movies were created as a TV miniseries that adapted the whole trilogy, and Fincher wants to adapt all three. The scene pays off far more in The Girl Who Played With Fire than it does in GWTDT.
     
  25. Noeland

    Noeland Sr Member

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    I think the rape scene, how she reacted to it, and how she ultimately dealt with it spoke volumes about her character. She is an internal person, and her reaction is not overt or over emphasized. It is subtle. These are very subtle films, that work in nuance and small moments. I'm including Fincher's film in that statement. His film was less subtle, but still, the scene was exactly what it was supposed to be. You're not supposed to like watching it. That's the idea.
     
  26. JOATRASH FX

    JOATRASH FX Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I generally dislike Swedish films. Ingmar Bergman was an abomination (Yeah, I said it... and I might get my citizenship revoked over that statement haha) to the film industry. I hold him responsible for creating an air of thought that either meant Swedish films had to be either tragically angst-ridden or comically ludicrous. And that Swedes are suicide-prone introverts (expect the blond females, which are all gorgeous sex maniacs that run around nude day). While he was alive, happy endings were sneered at and reviled- never mind creating an impossible barrier for creating something even CLOSE to action, horror, fantasy or scifi. He's the reason that Sweden doesn't have any "Troll Hunter"-type films.

    That said, I actually like both versions of TGWTDT and though I too found the rape scene very disturbing I do think it was necessary to drive the point home. Though in one way, I think the rape scene in Buffy could be regarded as MORE jarring considering the tv show surrounding it.

    One thing I noted in Finchers version was that the accents everyone was using made the film pretty believable somehow. Usually, even in more serious films, Swedes are portrayed with muppet-chef type accents (and the names Inga or Sven). Now, I grew up in the US, so I meself sound pretty American (you can only just barely tell that there's something "off" when I haven't spoken a lot of english in a while) and I'm certainly not averse to poking fun at accents... I'm just kinda befuddled why eeryone gets the Swedish "bad english" accent so wrong.
     
  27. Birdie

    Birdie Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    A lot of the supporting cast in the Fincher movie were Swedes, which was a smart move. I'm not a huge fan of his movie, but at least he didn't ship it lock, stock and barrel to the US like most foreign remakes. That would have been a train wreck.
     
  28. terryr

    terryr Sr Member

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    I could never have imagined that.
    And it showed how brutal he was, and yet appeared normal to the world, therefore she was the problem and wouldn't be believed. She knew this and brought the recorder.
    And if can anyone can watch that and not think it would affect her, .....

    But yeah, most loving making scenes are overdone. When they suck face for 5 minutes complete with slurping sounds it makes make gag.
    A look of love is better than naked bodies every time. In real life, seeing other people screw is funny, not sexy.
     

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