Monday, November 8, 2010

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo: The New Steve McQueen?

I just found the new Steve McQueen! And she’s a girl (and she’s Swedish!) Yeah, really and she sports a dragon tattoo on her back. Every few years a breakthrough foreign film merges from the ranks and more likely than not with a interesting female in the lead; Run Lola Run and Amelie come to mind.  Well, THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO (a trilogy actually) is that film and NOOMI RAPACE is the girl.  Thanks Blockbuster Express and Redbox kiosks I’ve seen parts one and two of the smash trilogy (the other THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE.)  Directed by Daniel Alfredson the films are based on the novels (which are nicely stocked at the moment at my nearby Costco) by the late author Stieg Larsson.

 In TGWTDT he weaves an intriguing tale  about a rough hewn little gal, a computer hacker with a dark past named Lisbeth Salander. While dealing with her own problems, Lisbeth takes an interest in the investigations of a disgraced journalist Mikael Blonkvist (Michael Nyqvist) who’s computer she’s hacked into. The journalist has been hired by an aging industrialist who last wish is to find out what happened to his niece who disappeared without a trace in 1966. The two desperate characters reluctantly join forces to solve the mystery and unravel something very dark indeed.
By accident I watched the second film THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE first, so for me the first film was a giant flashback… I actually kind of glad that it turned out like that. I enjoyed having the pieces fall into place while watching TGWTDT. I don’t want to write too much about it, because I want you to see these films (although I have not yet seen the third film, THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNETS NEST… I give it the benefit of the doubt that it’s on par with the previous two.)

So you ask me so where do I get the McQueen comparison? Well as of late, I have been on a McQueen jag (the 30th anniversary of his death was yesterday, November 7th.)  Unfortunately unless you’re a really hip or of a certain age, he’s amazingly just not well known anymore to the American public as say Clint Eastwood his cinema contemporary (both born in 1930 and both ruled the screen with action and few words.) In TGWTDT Rapace’s tight-lipped character of Lisbeth goes through the trials that McQueen did in so many of his classic movies. Rapace rides a motorcycle (The Great Escape), she’s has a revenge aspect (Nevada Smith), she’s an investigator (Bullitt) she’s on the run (The Getaway), she’s an outsider with a technical abilities (The Sand Pebbles), she’s physically beaten and has a tattoo (like McQueen in Papillion) and even a caper aspect like The Thomas Crown Affair.

Am I stretching? maybe, but can you think of anyone else out there better? I can’t? An American version of TGWTDT is in the works, so yourself a favor and catch this trilogy (yes, watch it with the subtitles) because you know and I know Hollywood will screw it up.

* Update (Febuary 2012) I saw the NEW VERSION of TGWTDT directed by David Fincher (of Zodiac and Seven fame)... and the new Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is excellent. See Link Below.

1 comment:

  1. The link below is a nice bookend. The film's director speak of the upcoming Hollywood remake of TGWTDT: