Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo- My Thoughts

Yesterday night I went to A Girl with a Dragon Tattoo with Lana (the theatre was incredibly crowded (ie completely full) on a 9p on a Tuesday night).  I have been meaning to read the book for ages, but just have never quite gotten around to it, which means I have no idea how the book reads.  I want to talk about the women in the story for a moment and I think I can do it without spoiling you anymore than a summary would, but be warned spoilers and very very possible triggers (I was ahoy.

The movie itself played out like a book, which I didn't know was possible for a movie to do.  It was one of the best movies I've seen in a long time (though I don't actually watch many movies), but it also was the most triggering and difficult to get through that I have ever seen.  The movie features two scenes where a women is forced into sexual situations and is raped and one seen where the woman takes vengeance against her attacker in the form of both rape and violence.  And all three of the scenes made my grit my teeth, tense up, squeeze Lana's hand and just try to get through it.  I'm not sure I ever

The movie features one of the most independent and strong woman I have ever seen depicted in literature, television, or film.  The audience is made aware that she has been abused multiple times throughout her life if they can do a little reading between the lines.  And she certainly is traumatized by this, but she is shown, despite being quite young, as being completely able to handle herself.

Though the movie is primarily populated with men, it does pass the Bechdel Test (a movie passes if it has two named female characters who have a conversation which is not about a man).  And the women who are not the protagonists are also frequently portrayed as strong.  It is movie about the victimization and assault of women, so the strong contrast between women in vulnerable positions and women rescuing themselves from those situations is a strong and unusual one.

Always in movies the women are rescued by men or, very very occasionally, but other women.  I'm not sure I have ever seen a woman who was able to deal with a situation by herself.  Now, I want to be very very clear, many women in situations like the ones in this movie do need help.  Situations can easily get beyond one person's ability to handle the, and so they should be encouraged to ask for help.  What just struck md most was movies always portray men as the knight in shining armor and this time is was the women, both for themselves and others, who were the "knight in shining armor"

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