The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011)
seen @ Main Street Cinemas, Kew Gardens Hills, Queens, NY
I've been waiting all damn year to get this off my chest and now I'm gonna say it: Tattoos and piercings, in my humble opinion, do not make a hot chick look hotter. I cannot begin to tell you how much it depresses me whenever I see some chick on the street who already looks good to begin with (and my definition of a good-looking chick is fairly broad), and yet she still feels the need to stick small pieces of metal through her lip or her brow or - gah! - her tongue, or cover her chest and arms with tats. It's like putting neon lights on the Mona Lisa because you think it looks cool.
There's a comic strip I read where the main characters start a tattoo and piercing business in order to make money off of gullible teenagers with more money than sense. They pierce them with crap like wire hangers and barbed wire and hang irons from their nipples and tattoo insults on them, but to their shock, the kids love it all, because they think it makes them look hipper and more "alternative" than ever. Sometimes that's how I see some of these people who do these things to their bodies - like they're suckers who'll follow any trend in the name of individuality. But how can they be "individual" and "alternative" if everyone's doing it?
And I don't find it sexy. One or two tattoos, maybe. A whole bunch, no. Plus, what will these chicks look like when they're 60 and have sagging boobs, cellulite and liver spots on top of those tattoos? But then, one wonders if that's even a consideration.
Still, I don't wanna sound like I'm blanket-condemning tattoos and piercings. If that's your thing and you wanna do that to your body, by all means, have at it. Go nuts. Just don't think it's gonna automatically make you look any hotter.
Of course, not everyone gets ink done for looks alone. I knew a girl who had a tat of wings on her back in tribute to a fallen friend, whose name was also inscribed with the wings. I can accept something like that. Though some people, of course, take that sort of thing too far as well. I read a story a few years ago about a father who had tattooed on his back a reproduction of a drawing his eight-year-old daughter made. (There's actually much more to that particular story, but I'll save it for another time.)
I missed about the first ten minutes or so of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo because of an unusual incident that happened to me on my way to the theater. I was coming from a different direction than last time (this was only my second time at the Main Street), through a neighborhood I'm unfamiliar with, and as a result, I got lost. I asked a bus driver for directions and he set me back on the right path, but as I was walking down a residential street, I saw an old lady standing out the door to her house with an arm outstretched in my general direction. I couldn't tell for sure, but it sounded like she was saying something. Then I realized she was calling for help!
I backed up and approached her front door. I was the only one in the vicinity. She looked to be at least in her 70s, maybe even her 80s. She said her husband had dementia and needed help getting from the bathroom back to the bedroom. I asked if he needed a doctor, ready to dial 911. She said he didn't. Tentatively I walked into their place and she led me to the bathroom.
The old dude, probably around the same age as his wife, was sitting on the can in his boxers and a button-down shirt. (I was quite grateful there was nothing that needed cleaning up, if you know what I mean.) There was a metal cane, the kind with four prongs at the base, next to him. He seemed reluctant to use it to help him get up, or indeed, to get up at all. He seemed like his mind might've been out to lunch at the moment.
I slowly helped him up and eased him into the bedroom, little by little, though I had to keep urging him to grab his cane and use it to lean on, even as I held him up on one side. Eventually he made it. The wife thanked me as the phone rang, and that's when I chose to make a discreet exit, having helped solve the immediate problem and not willing to wait until she got off the phone to find out if she needed anything else. I couldn't help but wonder why they didn't have any neighbors they could rely on, or a nurse or home attendant, but then I suppose there could be a myriad of reasons, and thinking about it further just depressed me, so I moved on.
Anyway, by the time I made it to the theater, I considered waiting for the next show, but I thought I'd only miss the trailers. Well, I did miss the trailers - and the opening credits, and a bit of the beginning of the story, but I was able to catch up easily enough. And I could hardly complain about it, now could I?
So. That book... or should I say those books. I never read them, nor did I see the original Swedish film version. I might've mentioned here before how suspect I tend to get towards mega-popular things in pop culture - my lizard brain automatically thinks if it's popular, it must suck. That's why I never got into Harry Potter at its peak. Sometimes, of course, this belief is true, but not always.
I can't recall ever seeing a character quite like Lisbeth in the movies before. I knew she was gonna get raped in the story (some spoilers are impossible to avoid). It didn't surprise me that she'd take her revenge; I fully anticipated and applauded that. What I didn't expect was how quickly she'd be willing and able to have sex with a man (or a woman) again. Now, I'm not about to pretend I have any clue what rape is like for a woman, but the way the film presents Lisbeth, it seemed almost as if she didn't suffer any lingering psychological scars from the incident. Basically, she was raped, she suffered physically, she got her revenge (in a totally AWESOME fashion, I might add), and she moved on like it ain't no thing. I can't believe she could put it behind her so quickly and easily...
...but then again, Lisbeth is hella tough. Maybe it's one of those things you need to accept in the name of entertainment, like the hero shrugging off bullet wounds that would put anyone else outta commission. I did like the movie overall, so maybe I should forget about it. I dunno.
I'll say this much, though: I think I understand why many of the promotional images for Tattoo were as sexually provocative as they were: Lisbeth's sexuality is an integral part of her identity. She decides she wants to have sex with Blomkvist - and doesn't fool around about it, either. And while I initially thought it was just about sex, by the story's end it turns out she genuinely cares about him - another surprise.
That's it for 2011. See you next year!