Män som hatar kvinnor
starring Michael Nyqvist, Noomi Rapace, Lena Endre, Peter Haber
screenplay by Nikolaj Arcel, Rasmus Heisterberg, based on a novel by Stieg Larsson
directed by Niels Arden Oplev
by Walter Chaw Slick and overproduced and poised for a David Fincher-helmed American redux, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Män som hatar kvinnor), Niels Arden Oplev's adaptation of the first of the late Steig Larsson's "Millennium Trilogy," falls off the exploitation tightrope. The titular malchick may be insane in the mainframe, but when she gets naked and straddles, cowgirl-style, an old guy while resisting even the notion of a committed relationship, it is only what it is. It doesn't matter what her issues are, in other words, because she's a hot twentysomething Goth-chick fantasy into computers and casual sex--and when I'm watching a representation of same, I'm not growing a conscience, I'm getting a hard-on. Imagine Elisha Cuthbert playing this role in the United States: on the one hand, it's theoretically harrowing to see her tied up and raped; on the other hand, I'm not complaining about seeing a hot twentysomething actress tied to a bed, completely prone and naked, pretending to be raped. It's the kind of playacting porn is discouraged from engaging in because it's actually too illicit for porn--but it's not too illicit for an arthouse import that's allegedly trying to have a conversation about what happens to little girls who are sexually abused.