Since my friends cried out in outrage upon hearing that an American version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was being made, since the Swedish version was “amazing,” I decided to give the movie a look. On a side note, I wish Americans would stop being so closed-minded about foreign language films. I admit that I would prefer to watch a movie in English because I can pay full attention to what is happening on-screen, but there are so many great foreign films. Plus, everyone knows the original is almost always better than the remake.
Anyways, this movie is a good thriller, even though it is a bit dark and gritty for my personal taste. There is a great balance between the two mysteries of who killed Harriet and who is Lisbeth Salander. The ending was not totally unexpected, but still fairly surprising. I suspected that Gottfried had been killed, but I certainly didn’t think Harriet was the culprit. Even though the movie didn’t totally explain why the Vanger family was obsessed with killing people, this is one unanswered question I am okay with. (It also makes me want to read the book because I’m sure it provides a more in-depth explanation). Like Blomkvist said, some people are just “sick in the head.” And Martin Vanger was definitely one of the sickest. The scene in which he talks about his victims’ disappointment when they realize they are going to die is disturbing and made me feel as though I was gaining insight into a serial killer’s mind.
The only tiny issue I have with this film is the ending. It was a bit cookie cutter and fairy tale ending, especially considering the violence earlier in the film.
As for Lisbeth, she is a character who I certainly didn’t like, but I also didn’t dislike, a feat which is hard to manage. Maybe because of her aura of badass and darkness, it was somewhat believable that she would be okay with hearing a tape of herself getting raped. The scene in which Blomkvist states that while she didn’t save Martin, she did save his life, was an important reminder for me that she did have some proverbial “good” in her. My curiosity about her background and what made her into the tough person she is will probably lead me to watch the rest of the trilogy.