Sunday, November 21, 2010

Call me a wimp

Watched Girl with the Dragon Tattoo last night, the Swedish film of the first in the insanely popular Stieg Larsson trilogy. (An English-language version is reportedly being made with Daniel Craig set to play Mikael Blomkvist.) I had read the book and it is always difficult to judge a movie, at least for me, when I already know what's going to happen in it. That said, I thought it was a really effective adaptation. Anyone who has read the book knows it is thick and dense with detail about the main mystery, the disappearance of a young girl 40 years earlier. The movie eliminates all but the most important particulars of the story, but is totally faithful to the book at the same time.

Unfortunately, for me, it was too faithful to the most violent parts of the book. I don't think of myself as that squeamish. Martin Scorsese is one my favorite directors. I read George P. Pelecanos. I adore The Wire. But I find some of the violence in Girl with the Dragon Tattoo excessive and gratuitous. To be honest, I find the characters bordering on cartoonish, and the plot definitely takes a cartoonish turn at the end when Lisbeth Salander dresses up as a blonde to take some non-violent revenge.

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