Disclaimer: This is the first post I have not done for my English 475 class. I feel the need to point this out since my professor will be reading these posts. To him, please do not include this one in my grade! Although you are welcome to read it if you desire.
Alas, holiday movie season is finally here. HMS is easily my favorite movie season. Summer blockbusters and September Stoners just cannot compete. HMS is the perfect mix of Oscar contenders and big-budget action pics. It makes us mainstream folk feel mature and sometimes artsy.
Though Sherlock Holmes and New Years Eve are films I will eventually watch (and Mission Impossible 5 doesn’t interest me in the slightest – who needs five films for a franchise? Especially one not based on a book series), the movie I simply cannot wait for is David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
I picked up the book by Stieg Larrson this summer and quickly devoured it… and the sequel (The Girl Who Played With Fire)… and the conclusion (The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest). All in all, approximately 1800+ pages. I’m an English major and I don’t make time for recreational reading. I cannot remember the last time I read that many pages just because I could. It was well worth the time investment.
The trailers for the movie look promising – an impeccable cast and revered director and writer. I won’t pretend I’m a huge “Fincher Fan” – I’ve only seen The Social Network and Fight Club, but from those two films I’ve concluded the man knows how to translate text to screen. I’m a little bit skeptical because he has admitted to changing the ending and anticipating negative feedback from the trilogy’s fanbase, but I have faith that he won’t compromise the late Larrson’s work and legacy.
For some reason I really connected to the series. I can’t relate to the pseudo-heroine Lisbeth Salander (pictured below) – and I thank the Lord for that – but there is something about her that is relatable.
(Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth)
(Rooney Mara as Lisbeth)
Larrson and his widowed girlfriend refer to Lisbeth as a type of Pippi Longstocking, which makes me question my familiarity with Longstocking’s tale. But what is so relatable about a fictional character who strives to be unrelatable? I believe it is her vulnerability. Lisbeth is tough in many ways, but also vulnerable. She may not be approachable, but she isn’t judgmental either. If you are one of the rare (albeit fictional) people who establishes a relationship with her she is absolutely loyal to the end.
Mikael Blomkvist (the main man of the series) describes her best when he says she plays by her own rules of justice. She trusts no one, especially the government, and takes it upon herself to distribute it as she sees fit. One of my favorite quotes from the series goes like this: “She was the most judgmental person he had ever met. But she never once raised an eyebrow at people’s weaknesses.” Lisbeth is scarred, but she still has feelings even though they’re often hidden or camouflaged.
I wish everyone would read the books – she really is worth it and the storylines are incredibly addicting, but I know they don’t appeal to everyone. My mother, for example, can’t get past page 50. For people like her, I promise: the first 100 pages are dry, but the next 1700 (appx.) are very intellectually rewarding. A friend of mine (who will probably read this) says Lisbeth is too Gothic for her, which couldn’t be further from the truth, but I won’t hold it against her (at least she’s a Harry Potter book and movie fan).
While I am sad for Larrson’s untimely death for selfish and sympathetic reasons, his legacy will go on… And on and on if the film gets the appreciation I believe it will merit. The books and Swedish films have certainly been recognized. December 21st, people! Mark your calendars because it is coming. HMS is about to get real.
Please enjoy the trailers below:
(I couldn’t find this last video on YouTube, but click on the link and you won’t regret it!)