A trio of Swedish crime writers were recently at Barnes & Noble for a Writers on Writers panel: Swedish Crime Writing

“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” won’t be shown in movie theaters in India. The film was about to premiere mid-February, but the country’s media council wanted some scenes to be edited. Director David Fincher refused, and so fans in India won’t be able to see the film.


Apropos David Fincher’s film… Emelie Roslund, a journalist with Radio P3 in Göteborg, wrote an interesting comparison between the American Lisbeth Salander and the Swedish one, in Dagens Nyheter earlier this year. Under the title “Så objektifieras Lisbeth Salander” (On the objectification of Lisbeth Salander), Roslund questions Fincher’s version.

“In an interview with Dagens Nyheter’s Helena Lindblad, he said ‘his’ version would differ from the Swedish,” Roslund writes. “He said she’d feel younger and less finished.” Roslund points out that certain scenes are particularly un-feministic, which goes against the grain of how Salander was written by Stieg Larsson. Larsson’s Salander is hard and muscular, which is also how Noomi Rapace played her, but Fincher’s Salander (or Rooney Mara’s or both), is small and fragile. During the rape scene, Mara’s feet are turned in and she’s gazing down into the floor, while Rapace looked her perpetrator straight into the eyes. Mara’s Salander is carefully eating a Happy Meal and smoking light cigarettes, while her companion Mikael Blomqvist keeps sucking on red Marlboros. What, Roslund wonders, is Fincher trying to communicate? Many reviewers feel that Fincher has tried to create a more human Salander, but as Roslund points out, it is also possible to interpret the American version as just the opposite: as objectifying. On the American poster Rooney Mara can be seen with a naked upper body and low cut pants. Behind her is Daniel Craig (Mikael Blomqvist) holding her tightly.

Roslund goes on to explain that the most important scene is when the murder and rapist Martin Vanger escapes a badly hurt Mikael Blomqvist, Mara’s Salander looks at Blomqvist asking “Is it OK if I shoot him?” This she doesn’t do in the Swedish version, nor does she do it in Stieg Larsson’s book. “I’ll take him”, she says and does. Roslund concludes: “Perhaps this is how Fincher wanted to portray Salander’s ‘unfinishedness’.
Or perhaps he just wanted to portray yet another ambivalent woman in need of a man.”

Objectified or not, here's a link to our film Lisbeth Salander - Trendsetter?