film, book/film tie in, action, abuse, trigger warning, rape, daniel craig, girl with the dragon tattoo, 2011

Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011)

Based on the book series by Stieg Larsson, starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara in the title roles. Pegged to be the first in a trilogy of English remakes after the dubbed versions a few years before. As yet, the second movie hasn't appeared.

Mikael Blomkvist (Craig) is a publisher, who reported on something he shouldn't have. Took a lead that turned out to be fake, but didn't realize until after he had published it ending up in a huge legal case that disgraced him and his magazine. Henrik Vanger has been keeping an eye on him, investigating him via Lisbeth, a computer hacker (Rooney) to decide whether or not to make him an offer on a cold case his family is desperate to know the answer of. Where did their grand niece go?

Harriet, who disappeared in 1966 without a trace. From an island with no way off, other than a narrow bridge which at the time was blocked off by an accident. Swarming with police and people dealing with the crash who would have seen her leave. No boats were taken, they searched the woods for a body. No trace was ever found in all these years. Blomkvist is offered a chance to disappear, come to the island and look over the case. Find what happened to Harriet, in return money and concrete evidence to get the object of his passion sent to jail. No easy task, as the family members are reluctant to speak with him even under the guise of writing a book about the family.

Then we have Lisbeth, a young woman declared mentally incompetent since she tried to kill her father. She has a guardian who she cares for very much, who leaves her mostly to her own devices. When that guardian suffers a stroke, he is replaced by a member of the department who is interesting, to say the least. He decides as he controls her money if she wants access to any of it. She has to show how social she can be. Or in other words, give him whatever sexual favours he desires from her. Which ends up in full detailed abusive rape, before she finds a way to resolve the situation in a rather graphic way.

Lisbeth ends up getting called to help Mikael with the investigation. As they try to trace a series of names and what appear at first to be phone numbers. Before finding out they are actually bible verses and a lot more women have been killed than they first imagined. As they try to track down exactly which member or members of the family committed the murders.

The first thing I have to say about this film is trigger warning. When I first saw it, I had no idea it contained rapes, graphic abuse or sexual abuse. Which made me feel a little uncomfortable, as it may well do anyone who has endured situations like this. I do wish that these had been made more clear in the advertising to prevent people feeling uncomfortable. As it is, it very much deserved its 18 rating for the violent content.

Secondly, I loved the movie. Although in places it dragged a little, it mostly managed to keep you involved in its complex plot twists. I understand it is a lot less dark than the original films or books, as yet I haven't had time to look into these. Even so, it still has the serious creep factor. As well as enough action to keep any fan happy enough. I just hope the second film comes out soon.

It should also be mentioned that Lisbeth is an openly bisexual character, one of the few sneaking into modern culture. As well as it just being seen in passing, or commented on that she has both sex lovers. Instead of the huge show and tell, and hate of who she is. Although I do think the whole sexual experiences with Craig's character are harmful to the storyline and shouldn't have been included. Making her seem like a slut.

7/10

Sarah Beth James

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