Movie Review: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Well, it’s been a couple weeks since I last posted. Hopefully, I can catch up with the blog posts I have in mind.

The Girl with the Dragon TattooA day or two after I watched Changeling, I rented The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I wasn’t originally planning on watching this movie. But when I ran across this page on RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), I decided I should check into it. Not because I have a fascination with rape/abuse. But because I am passionate about supporting victims of sexual violence.

So what is this movie about? IMDB’s profile says

Forty years ago, Harriet Vanger disappeared from a family gathering on the island owned and inhabited by the powerful Vanger clan. Her body was never found, yet her uncle is convinced it was murder and that the killer is a member of his own tightly knit but dysfunctional family. He employs disgraced financial journalist Mikael Blomkvist and the tattooed, ruthless computer hacker Lisbeth Salander to investigate. When the pair link Harriet’s disappearance to a number of grotesque murders from almost forty years ago, they begin to unravel a dark and appalling family history. But the Vanger’s are a secretive clan, and Blomkvist and Salander are about to find out just how far they are prepared to go to protect themselves.

The main aspects of the movie I did enjoy. I like mystery-type films. They did a decent job with the plot and did great character development. It was also interesting that it was a Swedish film, having hardly ever watched any movies from Sweden. Foreign based films are always interesting in and of themselves because they focus on slightly different things than we do in the States.

While it is not the focal point of this movie (the murder case is), the aspect that caught my attention was Lisbeth Salander’s character. Lisbeth Salander is a girl who has been sexually victimized numerous times in her life. Obviously, this affects her personality, which, if you watch the movie, plays into a lot of her choices in the film and works its way into the plot. She’s a bright girl, smart with computers and focuses on very key details. She expresses anger, depression, lack of trust, promiscuity—all potential “symptoms” of sexual violence. She also experiences continued prejudice and a lack of respect from others, which only causes more damage to her.

While she may not sound like an “appealing” character, I had a lot of respect for her. It was interesting to watch her history be revealed while Salander is helping Mikael Blomkvist in solving the murder case. And, hopefully without giving to much away, I enjoyed the respect Blomkvist gives her. It’s about time.

I probably won’t go out and buy this movie (I’ll explain in the disclaimer), I would recommend this movie to anyone who can stomach it in order to better understand the effects of sexual violence on an individual. It’s pretty realistic, even if it is in a movie.

Disclaimer: This movie is quite graphic. There is a lot of language, some gore and quite a bit of sexuality including nudity and a couple rape scenes. Please, keep this in mind before seeing it. They really do show everything (it is a foreign based film). Also, while I think that this film accurately expresses the affects of sexual violence, the movie does not have a “redeeming” ending as we are used to in the States. Personally, I think it is more realistic that way. Life doesn’t always have redemptive endings. So if you’re expecting that, it won’t come.

For more information on preventing sexual violence or assisting victims/survivors of sexual violence, check out the following websites:

Sexual Violence Center:

Minnesota Coalition for Battered Woman:

RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network):

Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault (MNCASA)

Stop it Now:

Many of these sites have links to resources and other sites to check into as well.