Wednesday 4 January 2012

Dark Crusading in rural Sweden

On our first date nite of 2012 we try out David Fincher’s Hollywood remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It’s a pacy stylish two and half hours, with one or two slightly sicko undertones, but time flies when you’re having fun.
Daniel Craig plays a disgraced journalist, if you can imagine such a thing, who takes refuge from the slings and arrows of a libel conviction by sorting out the dirty linen of Sweden’s most dysfunctional family.
They live on their own private island that they’ve turned into a Fraggle Rock of murder, mystery and intrigue. Everyone nurses their own dark Nazi, misogynistic or Oedipal secrets, sometimes all three simultaneously, as mist curls off the lake towards deserted boathouses past the mangled corpses of beheaded cats.
Pretty standard stuff, but is the killer still be at large? That would be telling.

There’s a dark arthouse feel about this take on the tale, and Rooney Mara’s Lisbeth heads the charge. In the good old days a trainee secret agent used to swing provocatively across English TV screens with a box of Milk Tray for the lady. Now the Lady is doing the swinging, tattoed like a sailor, abetted by several pounds of chunky metalware installed in unusual ways around her person.

She’s a dark, lean, mean street machine, who melds with her machinery as she locks on motorbike or laptop. She zaps through action like a steely robotic whippet but is she emotionally engaging enough? Probably not for some, but it is a considerable achievement to have evolved an action heroine who makes Angelina’s Lara Croft look like Mary Poppins.

Finally, brethren, the wackiest wacko on this Fraggle Rock murders women according to prescriptions derived literally from the Book of Leviticus.

So, what price literalism?

It’s easy to bang on about “biblical” attitudes and practices in a way that bears no relationship at all to what’s actually written in the Bible.

Let the reader beware...


Revsimmy said...

It will be interesting to compare this English language version with the Swedish one that came out a couple of years ago.

Ann said...

I have not read the books and am wondering about seeing the movie. I fear it will evoke nightmares for me. Thanks for the review -- tempting.

Ray Barnes said...

It sounds utterly enchanting, unmissable in fact.
Not having been to the cinema for around 35 years, I am now quite certain that I made the right decision.
Nice to have one's prejudices reinforced.

the Jog said...

we had our last date nite of 2011 watching this. Great film. My wife doesn't usually do dark - but came home and downloaded the next book (which I think is the best).

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