War of the sexes in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo: Plot, Essence, Meaning Of The Film, Explanation Of The Ending
Country: USA, Sweden, Norway
Genre: Detective, Thriller, Drama, Crime
Year of production: 2011
Director: David Fincher
Cast: Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer
tagline: “Evil shall with evil be expelled”
Awards and nominations: In 2012, the film won an Oscar for Best Editing.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a dark noir based on the theme of sexism. While receiving critical acclaim, the film nevertheless flopped at the box office.
The point of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is that for every power, there is always another power. This tough and uncompromising movie tells about the need to hit back when they hit you. However, with the force of the retaliatory strike, you still need to be careful.
What is the movie about
Fincher’s film is based on the sensational detective story by Swedish journalist Stieg Larsson. This is a remake of an earlier Swedish film adaptation.
Brief description of the content of the film “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”. The plot is centered on the story of Mikael Blomkvist, an experienced journalist with an army background, and hacker Lisbeth Salander. Mikael is the co-owner of Millennium magazine. Once speaking with compromising information on the businessman Wennerström, he was accused of slandering him and sentenced to serious monetary compensation, which deprived him of almost all his savings.
The role of Mikael Blomkvist was played by Daniel Craig. Frame from the film.
One day, a certain Henrik Vanger turns to him and invites the disgraced journalist to reveal the secret of the disappearance of his niece Harriet, which happened more than forty years ago.
According to Henrik, Harriet was killed by one of the family members, but he is worried that for quite a long time he has been receiving strange “gifts” in the mail – pressed flowers. It was these that his nieces gave him for his birthday … Mr. Vanger is sure that Harriet’s murderer sends them to him for some reason.
Mikael is not eager to take on the investigation, but Vanger promises him a good fee and help in the Wennerström case.
Taking up the investigation, he meets some members of the Wanger clan, and realizes that the secrets of their family are much darker than he thought.
Soon he meets a girl named Lisbeth Salander, who saves an unlucky journalist from one of the Vangers, who is unhappy that he, in his opinion, has learned too much. Lisbeth, a talented hacker, leads her own investigation, and Mikael, learning that she has her own history with the Wangers, invites her to join forces.
Gradually they get closer and get carried away with each other. Mikael learns the terrible, tragic story of his companion, connected with violence, and is amazed at the strength of her spirit. Together they find Harriet, who flies to Sweden and meets Uncle Henrik near the end of the film. Old Wanger keeps his promise and gives Blomkvist the promised compromising evidence.
Having received compromising information, Mikael was disappointed: the information provided to him by Henrik Vanger is already outdated. Lisbeth finds out about this and, wanting to help her friend, hacks Wennerström’s computer. There, the girl finds serious compromising evidence on the businessman and passes it to Blomkvist. The journalist publishes a new article and destroys the enemy.
Temporarily, the paths of Mikael and Lisbeth diverge, and he begins to meet with his former passion. Arriving to him on Christmas Eve, Lisbeth sees Mikael in the company of another woman and soon becomes convinced that she has no place in his life.
In the finale, she throws the gift prepared for him into the trash can and disappears from his life forever.
The meaning of the ending of the film “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” should be understood as follows: no matter how strong Lisbeth was, deep down she dreamed of ordinary happiness.
By the way, in the Swedish film adaptation, the ending is slightly different: Lisbeth brings Mikael compromising evidence on Wennerström, which he could not get from Vanger, and he defeats the enemy. Lisbeth, realizing that they cannot be together, leaves him herself. The explanation of the ending is as follows: she, as she was, remained the mistress of her fate, and she does not need new relationships that exhaust the soul, leading only to pain in the end.
Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander and Daniel Craig. Frame from the film.
The meaning of the film
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a classic detective story. In the center of the plot is a typical mystery of a typical locked room on the scale of one separate island. There is a crime committed 40 years ago, there is a clearly defined circle of suspects. The investigation itself involves digging through archives and talking to people.
Trying to find a motive, the characters (as in any classic detective story, there are two of them) discover something new that unexpectedly changes the surrounding reality. It becomes clear that even forty years later, evil is ready to release a sting and shed blood.
In principle, the plot is not new. However, the author of the novel of the same name (and the director) compensated for this shortcoming not only with atmosphere and aesthetics, but also with acute social issues, which is the essence of the film.
By the way, in the original novel is called “Men who hate women.” This is important because the title partially reflects the idea of the work.
In fact, the main character of the film (and book) is Lisbeth Salander. As a child, she often witnessed the scandals of her parents and saw how her father beat her mother. Unable to withstand this, the girl decided to deal with him, and this determined her future fate. She was recognized as mentally unstable, dangerous and incompetent and sent to a guardian whose sexual perversion knew no bounds.
Christopher Plummer played the role of Henrik Vanger. Frame from the film.
The point is that Lisbeth is a product of male aggression, and all her further actions are aimed at proving that she is not the weaker sex.
The dramatic thriller elements of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo lie in the way the secrets of an old aristocratic family are gradually revealed. The Vanger clan only outwardly seems prosperous and friendly: this mask, this beautiful (almost glossy) picture covers the hellish depths.
But family squabbles are also a screen behind which lies something more terrible. We are talking about a monstrous war of the sexes, a war of men and women. There is no understanding, there is only the desire to destroy at any cost. This is a destructive war, because it is not “inside”, but “between”.
The message of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is simple and evil: we live in a man’s world. It is disgusting and dirty, and it cannot be otherwise. In this world, a woman is by no means an equal partner and friend. Here she can only be a victim. Nothing personal, it’s just how nature works: a man is stronger, which means that he is a priori right.
How can a woman who does not want to be a victim and is not ready to put up with this state of affairs be saved? It’s simple – you need to beat. Not only in response – it is necessary, if necessary, to deliver preventive strikes.
And Lisbeth hits. She does it with anguish, but without the pleasure characteristic of her rapist tormentors. In the terrible cry strangled in the throat – pain and fear.
In their analysis, viewers note that “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” is, in fact, a kaleidoscope of monsters, strong, reveling in their power. Fincher is sure that nothing can be done about these monsters – well, except to nail them into the ground, and deeper.
Robin Wright as Erica Berger. Frame from the film.
There is a hidden meaning in the book. There is no talk of evil in its purest form. The novel tells about the hatred of the sexes. It is also said there that to fight back, turning from a victim into a hunter and an avenger, is only the first step towards liberation. You should not limit yourself to this, because there is always a risk of turning into a monster yourself, over which a victory has just been won.
And another important topic is raised by this work. It is not only about revenge, but also about silence. About the ominous silence that reigns where you need to shout at the top of your lungs. The bottom line is that some prefer to close their eyes and pretend that nothing is happening. The bottom line is that it’s easier to get revenge than to tell someone about a nightmare that you have to live in for many years. Absolute silence – that’s what’s really scary.
The hostages of this silence were not only the heroes of the film “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”, but the whole world.
Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander, Yorick van Wageningen as Bjurman. Frame from the film.
Here are a few films that are similar in meaning to the painting “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”:
- “Gone Girl” (USA, 2014). On the eve of the celebration of the fifth anniversary of married life, Nika’s wife disappears. Everything points to the fact that she was killed, and he takes up the investigation;
- “Mysterium. Magazine 64” (Denmark, Germany, 2018). Detectives Karl Mörk and Assad are investigating a long-standing crime. In parallel, they reveal the terrible secrets of Sprogyo Island;
- “Zodiac” (USA, 2007). Detectives are trying to find and stop a terrible maniac nicknamed the Zodiac.