The Who2 Blog

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and the Five Iron

So why didn’t anyone tell me that there’s a scene in The Girl WIth the Dragon Tattoo where a young Swedish woman waving a golf club chases a sex fiend out of the house and into his SUV and then, as he tries to careen off down the driveway, she bashes in the driver’s side window with the five iron?

(It looked like a five iron to me, though that’s not specified in the movie. Just like real life!)

If the scene was any closer to what happened last Thanksgiving, the Writer’s Guild would have demanded writing credits for Elin Nordegren and Tiger Woods.  (If the Writer’s Guild had jurisdiction over Swedish films, that is.  And if the film hadn’t been shot long before November.  Don’t interrupt the narrative.)

compare1.jpgGranted that actress Noomi Rapace doesn’t look much like Elin Nordegren — and granted that Tiger Woods isn’t a sex fiend quite like the sex fiend in this movie (as far as we know!) — but otherwise, the scene is pretty dead-on.  Dead-on enough to make me blurt out a loud “Hah!” during what was otherwise a very dramatic scene.  Why the whole theater didn’t bust out laughing, I don’t know. Doesn’t anyone else read the papers?

Well, it was an art house cinema, after all.  They don’t go for the cheap-shot laughs.

Sidelight for biography freaks:

  • Noomi Rapace was born on 28 December 1979.
  • Elin Nordegren was born on 1 January 1980.  

That’s right: three days apart.  Coincidence… or fate?)

As for the movie: two enthusiastic thumbs up! The Esquire had a neatly-lettered sign out front: “This film is unrated, but due to graphic violence we are treating it as NC-17. No one under 17 will be admitted.”  Which made me a little worried that it might be too horrific for my delicate sensibilities, but it turned out to be OK.  The violence IS graphic, but not in a gratuitous 60-people-slaughtered-onscreen-Hong Kong-style kind of way.  The original Swedish title (of both book and film) was apparently Man som hatar kvinnor — Men Who Hate Women — and that sums up where the violence is coming from.

Two strong leads, that’s for sure, and a lot of great character actors who look like Max von Sydow.  (I had to double-check that the big industrialist character actually wasn’t von Sydow.) The leading man, Michael Nyqvist, turns 50 this year and has worked almost exclusively in Sweden for the past 28 years.  He did star in the 2005 film Bang Bang Orangutang — great title! — but even that turned out to be Swedish. He’s got the weary charm of the movie detective down pat.

Noomi Rapace, the girl of the title, was described as a 10-years-in-the-making “overnight” success in the one-sheeter at the Esquire.  She’s terrific in this role, in any case.  The sullen punk-goth girl is a cliche type in the movies, and has been since almost before Ms. Rapace was born, but she (or the writer) manage to make her a fascinating character anyway.  That can’t have been easy, and good for them.

Bottom line, I was engaged for 2.5 hours without seriously thinking of wandering up to the lobby for a break, and that’s saying a lot.  I give it 8 five-irons out of a possible 10. 


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