12 August 2010

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

It has been a while since I’ve written anything about films, mainly because it has been a while since I’ve seen a film worth writing about.

I watch, and generally enjoy, several films a week but these are often described as “action” and feature the likes of Bruce Willis or Jason Statham and so are high on entertainment (and explosions) but low on artistic merit.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is different.

It is hard to escape the phenomena that Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy has become, not least because it is impossible to travel on the tube without seeing somebody read one of the books.

The success of the books has, rightly, spawned films. The original films, like the original books, are set in Sweden and are in Swedish. Remakes in English are already planned but as the DVD release of the first original shows, there are perfectly acceptable alternatives with English subtitles and an English voice-over available. I went for the Swedish voices with English subtitles which had the advantage of forcing me to pay attention to the screen. The laptop actually abandoned my lap for a while!

I had not read the book so had little idea of what to expect, except for the clues given by the 18 rating and the mention of torture in one of the reviews that I heard on Radio 4.

The plot is a complex whodunit (but less complex than the book, apparently) and it took me a while to work out who the goodies were, let alone the baddies, or even if there was a baddie at all!

For around two and a half hours the plot and the two main characters had me twister around their little fingers and I was powerless to do anything apart from sit and watch and try to understand.

I enjoyed it greatly, will watch it again and will get the next film as soon as it comes out. Think I’ll give the American remakes a miss though.

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