The Americanized remake of this highly acclaimed Swedish film releases soon and it brings great apprehension to me. The original is highly dramatic and artistic, while covering a terrible and distasteful issue of “Men Who Hate Women” – The story’s original title.
In short, it’s a character story of a girl who was physically abused, something the author was all too familiar with, as he witnessed a gang rape of a girl in which he did nothing. Lisbeth was the young girls name and is also the name of the main character. While it sounds like a story many would choose to avoid, it is steeped with numerous messages that all healthy individuals should take time to contemplate.
I find the idea that when good men do nothing, evil flourishes, becoming a revived mantra within our nation. I’ve seen it as a true factor in everyday life from the simple things to the devastating. Our culture has raised a generation of comfortable people who have nothing to fight for, nor do they desire to help fight the battle of the weak or innocent. We have become complacent in our nice lives and lack the adventure that once made America great.
Our political correctness has allowed us to judge who is worthy of help and who is not, as we’ve lost track of the preciousness of humanity. While The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is stark, dark and raw, it inspires empathy and action. I have no doubt that much of the strength behind the crime mystery novel is based on author Stieg Larsson’s life changing experience, for it is truly original and ground breaking – Not Hollywood manufactured.
Unfortunately, I dread the possibility that the Hollywood version may not hold to the same strengths revealed by the original. There will undoubtably be more explosions, craftiness, and eye candy. The real question is, will the story be respected and maintain the same high level of revelation as the original? I doubt it, as most stories of that nature do not make box office successes, but rather change society’s thinking patterns.
The original explores the life of a girl who has integrity within her own distorted world of men who hate women. The audience can appreciate her choices to do nothing, while she stands by and watches evil men perish. However, based on Hollywood standards, she may turn into a girl who seeks revenge, which is foreign to the story and it’s deep heart rooted messages – We shall soon see.
If subtitles aren’t too difficult for a viewer to manage, I highly recommend watching the original before experiencing the Americanized version of the film. The character study alone is fascinating and brings a level of true life to bare that would stir any casual movie buff. However, this story is not for the weak of heart, nor is it for the judgmental who would passionately suggest that these types of stories should never be made public or be on the silver screen.
The film is truly a cinema classic and should be watched by all filmmakers, but especially Christians who think that the only good movies are those that take a good person and transforms him to a better person. These filmmakers need a reality check and this film will give them a huge dose of a depraved reality that has gone unchecked by the Christian community. Our nation needs them to open their eyes and this film might do it.