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 Post subject: Re: Criterion and Sony
PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:33 am 
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ianungstad wrote:
There hasn't been any official press release detailing what's on the American release. Official sources has the release pegged as a 3 disc set, so I'm sure it will have all the supplements that were approved for the UK.

3 discs = Blu-ray, DVD, Digital Copy


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:08 pm 

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An Ultra Violet digital copy shouldn't be one of the discs. It's usually just a redemption code on a slip of paper that you punch into a website that allows you to stream the film from any mobile device with a web connection.

EDIT: I sent Prior a PM on the HTF forum and he replied:

There's only one Blu-ray release and it has all the bonus material. The only difference between the foreign and domestic versions are the menus because the ones I did for the US were too difficult to localize.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2012 2:56 pm 
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Great news!


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:01 pm 
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Is it me, or is it possible the rushed release is because Sony wants to calculate how much it'll do enough on the Home Video market to justify getting the sequels done?


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:32 pm 
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I think Sony is just quick with their releases. If I recall correctly, The Social Network came out this quickly too.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:23 am 
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It's made more overseas ($119 mil) than it has domestically ($100 mil), so the sequels will definitely get done.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:12 am 
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Also, people who are in Japan considering seeing this (as it recently opened), the rape scene is blurred with mosaic.... Glad I watched it in the US uncut.

Read online views of people saying it just either made them laugh, confused, and/or very distracted...

And for the people in India, the whole movie won't be released in cinemas as Fincher refused to cut the rape scene. Funny thing, the US Blu-ray will contain Hindi subtitle options...


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 2:57 am 

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manicsounds wrote:
Also, people who are in Japan considering seeing this (as it recently opened), the rape scene is blurred with mosaic.... Glad I watched it in the US uncut.

Read online views of people saying it just either made them laugh, confused, and/or very distracted...

And for the people in India, the whole movie won't be released in cinemas as Fincher refused to cut the rape scene. Funny thing, the US Blu-ray will contain Hindi subtitle options...

Oh! I had a different experience at the theater here in Japan when I went to go see this yesterday. The rape scene was not mosaic-ed, but the first consensual sex scene between the two protagonists was. Maybe this has to so with that Japanese law forbidding pubic hair on film? I haven't seen the non-censored version, so I'm not sure.

This actually took me out of the movie with a pretty firm thud. Not only was it distracting, for obvious reasons, but I found myself getting worked up into a bit of an angry froth. How can a (graphic) consensual sex scene be construed as more 'objectionable' than a (graphic) rape scene? In an ideal world, of course, neither should be censored (especially when such material is handled with sensitivity and verve as in this movie), but it seems the standards were a little mixed up.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 5:42 pm 
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Sony has made the "For Your Consideration" version of the score available to stream.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:09 pm 
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So I guess I'm the last one to go on this bumpy ride. Anyways Fincher's is far superior to any previous version of it. In fact outside a few editing choices I think it's the best version of this version of this story possible. Too bad it's such a terrible story. Fincher seems to know what works and what doesn't work in the story and emphasizes appropriately, but he's still too detached from the material to implement the changes that need to be done. In many ways his interests in the material make it like a Se7en redux showing how much he's grown as an artist and that's a very large growth.

The problem is twofold. Firstly contrary to what I was saying this shows a massive step back in Fincher particularly in terms of violence. I think especially with Zodiac he's learned not to make violence sexy and to treat things with respect and not to just think in terms of cool. That's the Fincher I think could have made this his greatest film yet, but the story leads more to that older less interesting Fincher to the extant that some scenes are played without any thought to their moral significance and how they harm the larger themes at play. Unfortunately those larger themes are the other problem.

It's no secret what Larsson was trying to do with the story and especially the character of Lisbeth Salander, but Fincher doesn't really care about that and so what was already a very weak thread of wish fulfillment is rendered a sore on the whole story. She's basically as is a cipher and dues ex machina to ensure that the plot chugs along quickly (also I'm not sure how the climax could end positively without her) and to needlessly reiterate the themes that Larsson (but not Fincher) is concerned with. Here is where I will go into some supposition. Her relationship with Blomkvist is the only aspect that humanizes her away from that wish fulfillment and makes her interesting. Since it ruins the pacing of the film anyway I think the film would be improved to the point of greatness had Fincher just cut all of her scenes between that first appearance and when Blomkvist needs her. Her story there is entirely useless as it is just a nail shoved right up the nose lacking subtly and making Salander an immoral character (no matter what her excuse is). Where she is at the start of the film is perfectly illustrated with her look and her interactions with Blomkvist (not to mention how her boss treats her). Something like the sex scene already gives us everything we need to know about her outlook on the world, strength, and more importantly fragility. In fact I think the torture scene hurts her development because her growth in the climax is shot prematurely. Especially with the casting of Mara who is perfect (and I would say physically presents a more complex character than Rapace). Her story outside of how she fits into Larsson's masturbatory fantasies is a strong person with a weak body and the climax allows her to go past that and brings the final revelation about her (further rendering the in between scenes useless) to tie to the whole picture and allows it to become her story. The torture scene already gives her that release in less moral circumstances and therefore ruins her whole character arc.

Of course even if you take all of that out of it the story is still has to stand in the shadow of Coppola, De Palma, and most recently Polanski doing far superior versions of it leaving only the petty and graphic elements as unique. The film is a broken wheel that Fincher props up the best he can, but that's just not good enough. The multiple ending syndrome (the worst plague on modern films) doesn't help either. The film tries to tie things up far too tightly when the evolution of these characters is complete and the film just goes into fatigue mode. While I would have been comfortable with the final mystery left unresolved that meetup with the final hand gesture completing Salander's evolution into a normal relationship is the most logical end point. The rest in unneeded filler for a story that barely warrants 90 minutes let alone two and a half hours.

To get back onto the positive though I think nearly every actor is perfect for the role (though as has already been outlined pre-Bond Craig may have worked better for others). I especially liked Plummer who really shows enough potential for menace to leave the film and mystery at unease which is good since the casting of Skarsgard makes the mystery pretty obvious.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:39 pm 
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The morality or immorality of Lisbeth's actions is only relevant if she's supposed to function as an agent of morality, and it's clear that she's not. If anyone is filling that role, it is Blomkvist, so I don't see the point of that critique. The point of the rape/torture scenes is obviously to demonstrate both the extent to which Lisbeth has been victimized, and also the extent of the rage and also the coldness this has created in her. They go further than they need to, probably, but those scenes are meant to serve as the context for Lisbeth's character in the absence of her past. We are meant to understand her in the context of the extreme poles of her experience: on the one hand, the extremity of her victimhood, and on the other, the extremity of her power. It has the effect of making her seem volatile, and therefore more interesting; we know what she can endure and also what she is capable of. Whether any of this is moral or not is beside the point.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:03 pm 
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Honestly by turning her into a vigilante like that and taking such glee in her actions that turns her into an immoral character for me. It's already established that she has more than enough incriminating evidence to get him thrown in jail so going through with the torture sequence only serves to weaken her character and turn her into something out of Taken or some other trashy action movie like that. The entire way it was written, filmed, and acted rang to me as manipulative as something out of Schindler's List. All the things that you say it demonstrates are better shown elsewhere in the film than this very lazy set of events. The strength of the acting gives us all of that uncomfortable extreme information already. To disagree with your final statement I find it to simply leave her as less interesting.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 6:35 pm 
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knives wrote:
Honestly by turning her into a vigilante like that and taking such glee in her actions that turns her into an immoral character for me. It's already established that she has more than enough incriminating evidence to get him thrown in jail so going through with the torture sequence only serves to weaken her character and turn her into something out of Taken or some other trashy action movie like that. The entire way it was written, filmed, and acted rang to me as manipulative as something out of Schindler's List. All the things that you say it demonstrates are better shown elsewhere in the film than this very lazy set of events. The strength of the acting gives us all of that uncomfortable extreme information already. To disagree with your final statement I find it to simply leave her as less interesting.

*shrugs* It resembles Taken only insofar as a character in that movie also takes revenge on someone. So that's not very enlightening. Nor is the Schindler's List comparison, which it seems to me you made more because you don't like Schindler's List than because there is an actual point of comparison between the two.

As for your latter points, the acting elsewhere doesn't give us any extremes. It's exactly the opposite: it just hints at stuff, stuff that otherwise we'd have very little context for. As for the whole subplot, it is kind of a hackneyed way to communicate the information, but it's done as well as it could be done and serves a character purpose. I think the "glee" you found is not present; tonally, the scene is the opposite, and although there is a sense in which it is satisfying, that is tempered by the brutality and by Lisbeth's detachment. It is slightly more complex than you make it out. As for the suggestion that she go to the police instead, Lisbeth does not trust official figures of authority and would never do that, especially since if it did work it would just land her with another case worker who can abuse her. Going to the police would violate her character and weaken the theme of the systemic abuse and corruption within official organizations.

In the movie, Lisbeth performs moral actions and immoral actions. She is deeply injured, but the forms that her injuries take are sometimes offputting. You can approach such a character simplistically and say that she is only one thing or the other, black or white; or you can do what the movie is trying to prod you to do, and have a complex reaction to her that remains aware of her contradictions. It seems to me that being rigorously judgmental in this case is not productive. Especially since Lisbeth's extreme actions are plainly the result of years of being warped at the hands of other people, which ought to complicate our moral reaction to her.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:34 pm 
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I don't understand knives's hangup on "morality" as such but I have to agree with him that the revenge scene pretty much plays as he describes. Saying that "there is a sense in which it is satisfying" seems to somewhat understate the matter; it actually produced some applause in the theater as it occurred.

Now it is perhaps the case that we are meant to be taken aback "by the brutality and by Lisbeth's detachment", but that seems like a disningenuous way to represent the scene given that it's mass-market entertainment. How is the movie trying to prod us to have a complex reaction to that scene? In that context, the "brutality and detachment" are features and not bugs, so to speak, in the same way that Jack Bauer's "brutality and detachment" are a bonus when he's making the terrorists cry. The fact that she's been warped by years of sexual abuse (which is not, IIRC, really known to us at this point of the movie) seems like it would only make that catharsis more satisfying in context, not less, and if the movie were really trying to get its audience to react ambivalently to the scene, the least the filmmakers could have done is not to make the villian such an unambiguously and irredeemably evil man.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:51 pm 
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Sausage you can understand peoples reactions considering none of the context you used in your explanation is in this movie.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 7:57 pm 
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I actually felt sorry for him during the scene of the two of them in the elevator, as it was clear that she would represent to him the worst judgment he's made in his life. This version of the story paints him less a monster as the previous film did. The other guy clearly had raped and abused women before. But here it felt like maybe it was some evil that had been festering before, in someone who may have been a decent man. At one brief point you can see a picture of him with a younger woman on his desk, I'm guessing his daughter. It's brief but it stuck out in my mind, and I flashed back to it in the elevator scene. No matter how much good you do and how much love you give, one mistake can come back to haunt you. Or tattoo "I am a rapist pig" on your chest.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 8:07 pm 
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Brian's said my piece for me far better than I could have, but there's one little point I want to reinforce.
Mr Sausage wrote:
As for the whole subplot, it is kind of a hackneyed way to communicate the information, but it's done as well as it could be done and serves a character purpose.

That right there spelled out is ultimately my problem with the movie and not just with the scenes in question though they suffer the worst from it. When the best possible (and I do agree for the most part Fincher has achieved the best possible) is a very flawed mess like this is ti really worth doing? I honestly think a radical change needs to be done to the story to make it work beyond its pulp roots, but if Fincher had to keep to the story so closely a few small snippings would have still managed to improve it greatly.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 8:17 pm 
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Brian C wrote:
Now it is perhaps the case that we are meant to be taken aback "by the brutality and by Lisbeth's detachment", but that seems like a disningenuous way to represent the scene given that it's mass-market entertainment.

I'm not sure what this means. Are you saying that I'm not being genuine because the movie is "mass market entertainment"? Because if so, then the rape scene is also not offputting because the movie is "mass market entertainment."

Brian C wrote:
How is the movie trying to prod us to have a complex reaction to that scene?

What I actually said: "have a complex reaction to her that remains aware of her contradictions."

Brian C wrote:
Saying that "there is a sense in which it is satisfying" seems to somewhat understate the matter; it actually produced some applause in the theater as it occurred.

I was definitely understating, but then it hardly needed to be stated directly: we saw someone get a well deserved comeuppance and that is satisfying. It usually is. But the tone here is not gleeful or celebratory, and the satisfaction, as I said, is tempered by Lisbeth's coldness and the brutality. The scene is handled so bluntly and straightforwardly that I thought it avoided the pitfall of making the violence titillating. By the time you find out she was tattooing him, I was a little worried about Lisbeth's mental state. In terms of how the movie presented these events, I thought it presented them as it should, with a firm grasp of the character.

Rolf wrote:
Sausage you can understand peoples reactions considering none of the context you used in your explanation is in this movie.

Which part isn't in the movie? I've never read the books or seen the Swedish versions, so I had to get it from somewhere.

knives wrote:
That right there spelled out is ultimately my problem with the movie and not just with the scenes in question though they suffer the worst from it. When the best possible (and I do agree for the most part Fincher has achieved the best possible) is a very flawed mess like this is ti really worth doing? I honestly think a radical change needs to be done to the story to make it work beyond its pulp roots, but if Fincher had to keep to the story so closely a few small snippings would have still managed to improve it greatly.

I'm not uncharitable enough to care much that this kind of story has its roots in pulp. Lots of movies I adore have the same roots. The narrative may be somewhat clumsy and on the more juvenile end, but the movie isn't a mess, and acquits itself very well.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 8:30 pm 
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flyonthewall2983 wrote:
I actually felt sorry for him during the scene of the two of them in the elevator, as it was clear that she would represent to him the worst judgment he's made in his life. This version of the story paints him less a monster as the previous film did. The other guy clearly had raped and abused women before. But here it felt like maybe it was some evil that had been festering before, in someone who may have been a decent man. At one brief point you can see a picture of him with a younger woman on his desk, I'm guessing his daughter. It's brief but it stuck out in my mind, and I flashed back to it in the elevator scene. No matter how much good you do and how much love you give, one mistake can come back to haunt you. Or tattoo "I am a rapist pig" on your chest.

Oof. Considering what we see in the film, I can't say that I agree with you in the slightest. But different brutal rapes and abuses of power for different folks, eh


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 8:30 pm 
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That was bad phrasing on my part. I meant to say sit well within it's pulp roots. I think that juvenile nature overpowers the movie at parts mostly in relation to the Salander part of the story (if she weren't so required by the climax I would suggest to cut her out entirely) to such a degree that it can't even be enjoyed as pulp and it never acquits itself of these mistakes or the occasional bad pacing. The film attempts to say something about sexual politics in a way to reach outside the pulp, but is too juvenile to do so. It awkwardly tries to sit in both camps when if it just embraced it's pulpy mystery side like the very similar The Ghost Writer I'd find it to be a better film.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 8:46 pm 
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I think you're overemphasizing the juvenile and pulpy aspects. The film doesn't try to deal with systemic misogyny and the covert presence of fascism in the depth the topics require, sure, but it never fails in the aspects of these issues it is trying to show. The way the social worker uses his power (control of her funds, ability to send her back to a home) to manipulate Lisbeth into giving sexual favours is precisely realized, and all the more angering for being accurate. As well, the way the various characters use their money and social positions to hide ever more awful abuses (starting with mob ties, moving to fascism, and then into serial rape and murder), and the way so many characters find it impossible to deal with these abuses because of that is, again, very well depicted and angering to watch.

The movie is essentially a melodrama in that it inserts into those very real stories a couple of superheroes (not quite, but serving the same role) who find a way to bring these people to their knees in ways that don't happen in real life. You can kind of tell this was Stieg Larsson's way of venting his frustrations. But Fincher's exacting eye for detail, character, and realism allows the melodrama to sit more easily beside the social concerns and allows the movie to be satisfying (I think) where otherwise it could've been hokey. You may disagree, but I hope you can see why I feel as I do.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 8:57 pm 
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Here is where I'm strongly going to have to disagree with you. As Fly mentioned this is vastly improved from the Swedish version, but the film makes the social worker such a cartoon and the whole situation calculated for maximum emotional reaction (hence my earlier Speilberg comparison) in a distracting and ultimately dishonest way. That's not to say that some rapists aren't cartoon characters, but the way the film from the first second turns him into this grotesque little ball makes me wonder how anyone in a social services area would hire such a crackling maniac. It's like the whole film has to stop for a poorly thought out PSA/ revenge fantasy on the wrongness of rape. I basically agree with everything else you've said, but that just makes these already problematic and ill-fitting scenes all the more unnecessary.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 8:59 pm 
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mfunk9786 wrote:
flyonthewall2983 wrote:
I actually felt sorry for him during the scene of the two of them in the elevator, as it was clear that she would represent to him the worst judgment he's made in his life. This version of the story paints him less a monster as the previous film did. The other guy clearly had raped and abused women before. But here it felt like maybe it was some evil that had been festering before, in someone who may have been a decent man. At one brief point you can see a picture of him with a younger woman on his desk, I'm guessing his daughter. It's brief but it stuck out in my mind, and I flashed back to it in the elevator scene. No matter how much good you do and how much love you give, one mistake can come back to haunt you. Or tattoo "I am a rapist pig" on your chest.

Oof. Considering what we see in the film, I can't say that I agree with you in the slightest. But different brutal rapes and abuses of power for different folks, eh


I'm not saying his penance was undeserved, but that he seemed less physically menacing than his predecessor, and that in the aftermath he was shown a little bit as a victim himself. Granted, a victim of his own brutality coming back to haunt him. But that much difference can make me see a character in a different light. In the previous adaptation, I was way more enthralled at the revenge scene because the guy looked (and acted) like the Devil incarnate.

But here, it's made me think a little of what king of ripple effect this will have on his life. And for clarity's sake, he got what was coming to him. The rape scene was by far the most uncomfortable 3-4 minutes I have ever been through watching a motion picture. It could just be how my mind works, but little things like that picture on his desk sets off little tangents of who this person is, was or could have been. And it helps in me trying to look at the film from all sides, in a way.


Last edited by flyonthewall2983 on Thu Mar 01, 2012 9:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 9:11 pm 
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knives wrote:
Here is where I'm strongly going to have to disagree with you. As Fly mentioned this is vastly improved from the Swedish version, but the film makes the social worker such a cartoon and the whole situation calculated for maximum emotional reaction (hence my earlier Speilberg comparison) in a distracting and ultimately dishonest way. That's not to say that some rapists aren't cartoon characters, but the way the film from the first second turns him into this grotesque little ball makes me wonder how anyone in a social services area would hire such a crackling maniac. It's like the whole film has to stop for a poorly thought out PSA/ revenge fantasy on the wrongness of rape. I basically agree with everything else you've said, but that just makes these already problematic and ill-fitting scenes all the more unnecessary.

The rapist is not a cartoon. Maybe it seems that way because you're seeing this in the context of a thriller, but no, he is very much accurately depicted. And if you'd like to know why a social worker like that would even be hired, it's the same reason why horrendous spousal abusers can be community leaders and well-loved people. Because when they're doing their worst, they can be monsters indeed. But when a good face needs to be put on, they can be charming and normal. Not to mention that part of the movie's theme is the way people can use their positions of power to carry out acts of abuse without repercussion.

One of the best realized scenes in the movie is right after the rape, when the social worker starts to manifest his guilt, meekly asking if Lisbeth needs anything, if she's all right, needs a drive somewhere, as a feeble way to placate the person he's just hurt. This is why he isn't a slobbering caricature. Fincher and the writers understand the psychology of this kind of person, and they represent it accurately.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:42 am 
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Mr Sausage wrote:
I'm not sure what this means. Are you saying that I'm not being genuine because the movie is "mass market entertainment"? Because if so, then the rape scene is also not offputting because the movie is "mass market entertainment."

Well ... duh. I wouldn't say that the rape scene is played for titillation, exactly, but knives has this sort of audience manipulation pegged pretty clearly: you get the crowd's collective dander up by showing something awful, and then you deliver the payoff with a scene of grisly revenge. There's nothing thoughtful or complex or socially relevant or anything about it - it's just playing to the crowd in a very base way.

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The rapist is not a cartoon. Maybe it seems that way because you're seeing this in the context of a thriller, but no, he is very much accurately depicted.

This may or may not be the case, but I'm not really convinced as it applies to this movie. For one thing, there's no reason to think that you can generalize about "this kind of person" any more than you can generalize about any other group of people. I'm sure there are real people like him out there, but it's a big world, and there are bound to be real people like just about any fictional character you can imagine. He can't stand in for the world of sex abusers out there any more than Lisbeth can stand in for the world of abused women.

Second, even if we are to accept that he's representative in some fashion, the movie still plays up his repulsiveness. He's physically unattractive, a common way to advertise villiany to an audience, and the actor affects the kind of leering smoothness in his initial encounter with Lisbeth that is again typical of movie villians. I suppose one could make the argument that this gives us Lisbeth's perspective to some degree, since surely she's had the experience to be able to spot a rotten apple pretty quickly, but it remains the case that the movie uses common tactics to make the character unsympathetic. The handsome guy, of course, is virtuous and good and she jumps enthusiastically into bed with him despite whatever trauma she had suffered at the hands of men in the past, but I suppose that's another kettle of fish.

At any rate, I think that if the filmmakers had really wanted to make a point of Lisbeth's brutality and detachment, perhaps they could have had her act in a way that was more out of proportion. She's going to get the easy benefit of the doubt when she's brutalizing a (presumably) serial rapist - perhaps it might have been more interesting if she had beat the hell out of him for his mere financial extortion. The Fincher film actually does feint in this direction with the subway encounter; in the Swedish film, IIRC she was mugged and physically assaulted, but the Fincher version has her chasing down a guy who had merely snatched her backpack and beating him up out of pure visceral anger. But given the chance to make the rape/torture scenes more nuanced, Fincher takes the easy way out in pursuit of cheap thrills.


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