The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

TGWTDT

The problem with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is that I have actually seen it all before. I have also actually read it all before.

Actually, this remake felt like re-watching the Swedish version except they changed the ending. Duh! Why change the ending when so many people have read the book and seen the Swedish version? I don’t actually like that, no sir.

I have a tendency to remember foreign language films in English – does everyone?. So it didn’t even feel very new to see the movie in English.

I suppose I wanted to see what an American production would do with it and I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of dumbing down I expected.

The Girl with the DT is complicated. There are so many characters and all their Swedish names sound the same (sorry Swedish people your names are generic to mine ears…). While reading the book I even wished the names where a bit different so I could keep track, is it just me? Am I name blind? Although it is something that mainly happens when I’m reading Swedish to English crime novels. So I think I am just Swedish name blind so there’s probably a pair of glasses I can buy for that. Or maybe Swedish name blindness correcting laser surgery. Yes, that.

Aah, yes, movie. I like Rooney Mara but I wasn’t so fussed with Daniel Craig (second Daniel Craig movie in a row – that’s enough). I preferred Michael Nyquist as Mikael Blomquist (see! Swedish names!). Noomi Rapace is still my favourite Lisbeth Salander because she was the first portrayal I saw of a kick-arse character and she matched the Lisbeth in my head.

Lisbeth is not the main character but she goes through so much in the movie/book and you really start to feel her pain and frustration at her lot in life. She is constantly forced to interact with people in line with their requirements like having to be nice – she hates that. I suppose there is a little bit of Lisbeth in us all sometimes when we just want to hide and be left alone to do what we do. I just hope we don’t all have the psychopath streak as well…

This film is graphic and tells a story of hatred. Hatred of women, hatred of difference, religious hatred it doesn’t really hold back. The violence is lessened in this movie than in the book or the Swedish version but it is still confronting and you will flinch. It’s realistic and it’s gross and it’s horrible but it’s not unnecessary. The violence forms the characters and violence is the basis of the story. The horrible things people do.

The cold of the Swedish weather is palpable and really is part of the violence the characters experience. The sterile beauty of the scenery is perfect considering the sterile and vicious lives the main characters are investigating.

This version is a bit plodding through the middle but that may be because I actually knew what was meant to happen next all the time. The changed ending was a pain but probably wouldn’t have been if I hadn’t already actually known what was meant to happen next all the time.

Don’t think I’ll bother with the sequels when they come out. I’ve actually already seen them.

The Triplets of Belleville

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This is absolutely gorgeous! The animation is old fashioned and quirky which gives the film a warm huggy feeling. Worst description ever but I’m going to leave it there…

It starts out with a really ye olde style of animation in black and white referencing original Mickey Mouse and very early cartoons. Watching and listening to the triplets do their thing in ye olde burlesque Paris is grande. It’s a lot of fun to pick the homages being made to the Mouse as well as others such as Josephine Baker who was so loved in Paris.

There isn’t really any talking in the film so subtitles are not needed. I think they would be annoying and take away from the experience of falling in love with an old lady and her dog. There is little talking needed to pick the characters of these people as so much is portrayed by the way they are animated. There is an hilarious fawning waiter at one point who is almost falling over himself with the fawning – no words needed – I know who he is.

The triplets don’t really feature a lot but it really is a catchy title so I suppose that’s how they got top billing. ‘Old woman and her dog from Paris’ doesn’t trip off the tongue with quite such ease. In the French release it was call “Belleville Rendezvous’ which is the song the triplets are famous for and is oft repeated during the movie – good thing it’s damned catchy.

(According to my musical hubby there is a Bach refrain repeated throughout in different styles (jazz etc) as well, although I cannot confirm this…)

You should see this one. And watch it with the older kids. Miss 14 really liked it but Miss 11 thought it was boring. Apparently she doesn’t like to think too much while watching animation. And there is a lot here (because of the non-talking aspect) that you have to decipher for yourself. There is also quite a confronting reference to horse racing and what happens to the poor horses who collapse on the track (it’s bad and involves a gun). It is a bit depressing explaining that to a youngster. Although it nicely packages why I really dislike horse racing – surely there’s something better to be done for an injured horse? Is our society really that money over life obsessed? – oh, wait, yes it is.

The movie was produced by Quebecois folks and it shines through in their portrayal of the Americans encountered. It’s both a put down and a compliment (is that a French thing perhaps…). The Americans are all giant (tall and wide), hamburger guzzling idiots, however, they are also incredibly friendly at the same time (to the point of annoyance for the dear old lady).

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There’s also a bit of mystery here as the old lady tries to find her grandson after he dissapears during the Tour de France (of course because they are French they cycle). It does take a while to work out why he was kidnapped at all and that worked really well. Again, the non-talkiness meant that we weren’t told everything through horrible, horrible ‘everyone watching this is stupid’ exposition.

It’s short too so just watch it already.