A few weeks ago I’d had to give up advance passes to see The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo before it came out in theatres on Friday, April 16, 2010. I’d received the passes from Biz Books, a local movie/theatre-focused bookstore and had given them to my friend Marina who reviews movies for Row Three and QuietEarth.us. Marina told me that it was really good (and she hadn’t read the book) so I was very eager to see the movie.
On Friday night, my mom and I planned to grab an early dinner and catch an evening showing of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Both of us have read the book by the same name (read my thoughts on the book by Steig Larsson) and we were eager to see the movie. I warned mom that it was a Swedish movie with English subtitles because all the trailers (at least on North American television) seem to avoid that fact like the plague. I guess they’re worried they will lose viewers who don’t want to watch a foreign/subtitled film. To be honest, after the first five minutes, you barely notice it at all.
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo film, originally titled Män som hatar kvinnor which translates as “Men Who Hate Women”, was extremely well adapted. The choices they made and the side-stories they cut were perfect. It was an excellent film — so much, that at points, I was watching on screen nearly exactly what I had pictured when I read the scene in the book. It was a little eerie, but perfect, and so satisfying. And Noomi Rapace, who plays Lisbeth Salander (aka The Girl) was amazing and perfect. She got Lisbeth’s mannerisms down exactly.
The violence was a little difficult to watch at times. My mom had to take an “intermission” (read: leave the theatre) during a certain scene with Lisbeth and her guardian. But other than that, it was really no more violent than your average blockbuster thriller. However, I have to compliment the Swedish directors and producers: where Hollywood would probably gloss over, or pan the camera off, the Swedes have stayed true (to a T) of Steig Larsson’s story and descriptions of events.