Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) Reaction

It is post-Christmas and I've been feeling anxious lately. Though I was able to accomplish a lot yesterday, I still ended up getting into a fight (verbal) at the end of the night, just thankfully not in public. I felt like the conversation was going well and I was holding my own without being too prickly of a person, but I wasn't too sure since I had gotten three shots to update my immunizations records and one was a polio adult booster - the number one side effect is, naturally, irritability. So I was double checking my personal assessment of the situation with a friend and a somewhat unrelated fight broke out over other topics. I guess the movie we saw had me a little bit sensitive and reactive: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. And I know there is a book, and I really ought to read it, but I just haven't gotten around to it yet.
Anyway, overheard someone say of Lisbeth's rape scene that she would break the bed rather than endure the rape. Now I know it's nice to imagine that, but it just doesn't appeal to me as an observational comment.  When I looked at my reaction to the comment, I was perplexed and had to try to think why it bothered me.  After some thought, I guess it was the subtle way she put herself above the character's reaction. Rather than say, "I'm sure she wished she could have broken the bed rather than been raped, that scene was so strong and uncomfortable." the comment was rather one that she would have done the impossible to avoid the rape.

But comments and why those comments stood out in my mind aside, the scene makes me think of how living unconventionally makes you vulnerable to being taken advantage of in ways that aren't immediately apparent. Maybe being conventional and sweet and submissive and effeminate without apparent strength puts you at the mercy of strong men, but you could live your whole life in this fashion and be "alright." You could believe that if everyone followed the rules that we'd all be okay and taken care of.  Yet if you're wild and need independence for whatever reason - whether past trauma or betrayal - it can be held against you.  You don't conform to society and whether you are a man or woman, you suffer for it.  Yet the wayfaring woman has so much more to fear than the man.

The closing scene of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo also hit me hard.  It's the sort of scene that makes me sad because when someone who finds it difficult to become romantically involved finds someone they care about, it is painful to find out that the other doesn't feel the same way - or at least believing this.  That you were a phase in their life, and that they are going back to what is familiar and easier.  Finding someone who makes you feel even dryly witty and attractive, only to find out you barely made an impression is one of the biggest let downs you can feel in your life.

I know I am projecting, because obviously there is a book and I should probably read that for more insight into Lisbeth's point of view.  But on the movie, if you - man or woman - are strong enough like the protagonist to be "alright" and take care of yourself, it is still one of life's tragedies to see a hardened person begin to soften only to get hurt and feel as though the offending person has proven their lowest estimations of humanity are right from time to time.  It's enough to stay cynical.  Strong movie.  Very thought provoking, I have got to read the books now...

No comments:

Post a Comment