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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011): Graphic and Gratuitous

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Although The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was, overall, a good film, I really could not enjoy it. I knew when I went to see it that there were going to be some gruesome scenes, but I was not prepared for the various rape scenes and murder images.

It’s not that I’m sensitive or weak to this kind of thing. I can handle scenes like this when it is necessary to the plot. A lot of these scenes, though, felt like they were thrown into the movie purely for shock value.

Lisbeth Salander (the girl of the title), played by Rooney Mara, is parentless and in the beginning of the movie she is with her guardian. The guardian doesn’t seem to talk to her very much, but they play chess together regularly and she talks to him, seeming to enjoy his company. She is then assigned a new guardian, and this is where I started to question the choices made in filming and editing.

The man assigned to be her new guardian takes advantage of her, deciding that he will have full control of all of her finances. When she asks him for money he forces himself on her in exchange for the cash she needs. In one scene, he requests that she come to his apartment, and there, he handcuffs her to his bed, pulls her clothes off of her, and anally rapes her.

It may just be me but I think most people would have understood what was going on without the actor who played her guardian actually simulating lubricating the area with his tongue and simulating the act. It was, in my opinion, completely unnecessary.

Overall the film was really good, but it seems that the kudos would really go to the author, Stieg Larsson and to the actors, not the filmmakers for choices made purely to create an “edgy” movie.

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About KatherineMCarroll

  • Axel R.

    In my opinion, had those scenes not been as graphic and gruesome, a lot of people and critics would’ve said that the scenes lacked in projecting what the book reads. Anyone who watches that film will remember something about the film. They’ll like it or hate it however they won’t shrug their shoulders with indifference. Thanks for the read.

  • Cathy

    did you read the book? All those scenes are in the book – they’re necessary.

  • Axel R.

    I was content with the scenes. I agree with them being a necesssity.

  • Michelle

    Did you pay attention to the movie? Her first guardian wasn’t just quiet with her – he suffered a massive stroke and was unable to speak because of neurological damage. THIS is why she was assigned a new guardian.

    The rape scene may have been fairly graphic and made me wince, but it was necessary in building a sense of her character. She ends up getting fairly good revenge as well as being able to control her own finances in the end.

    The plot choices weren’t that of the director or the writers of the screenplay, they followed the book very well, to be honest. It might be beneficial for you to read it.