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“Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” Movie Review

To be honest, initially I resisted going to see “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” It’s rated R for its brutal violent content, including rape and torture (among other things). Normally, watching something like that can cause some serious disturbance to our personal energy fields. But after reading a few reviews, I decided to chance it because of it’s focus on sexual abuse, one of my fields of expertise. I’m glad I went as I found this movie to be a winner for several reasons—and although it was indeed violent, the violence wasn’t at all gratuitous.

One of the things that captivated me about this movie was how inspiring and liberating Rooney Mara was as brilliant computer hacker Lisbeth Salander.  Former investigative reporter Mikael Blomkvist (played by Daniel Craig) hires Salander to help him find out what happened to a woman who went missing as a teenager 40 years previously. In most action movies, it seems like it’s always the 35-year-old white male who saves the day. But not in this one! Mara as the female 20-something Salander steals the spotlight of this riveting whodunit, delivering a potent message to women about intelligence, power, and grace under pressure.

Another reason I found this movie compelling was the accurate way it dealt with sexual abuse and how it runs through generations in a family. As Blomkvist and Salander delve deeper into the mysterious disappearance, they uncover disturbing family secrets that indeed echo the way sexual abuse appears over and over throughout many generations of the same family.

And even though I’ve spent a good deal of my life recovering from this exact kind of abuse, I was startled to find how “triggered” even I was by the film, reminding me that even though we recover from traumatic events, there will be remnants of the event in our psyches forever.

Christopher Plummer does a great job playing the family patriarch whose niece was the missing teenager and who hires Blomkvist to find out what happened to her. The movie—an adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s best-selling novel—is directed by David Fincher and is a remake of the Swedish film of the same name (that came out just two years ago).

Go see it—I guarantee you’ll be on the edge of your seat the entire time. And as soon as you can pry your fingers off of the armrest, go to my Facebook page and tell me what you thought of the ending. See you there!

Deborah King