Lisbeth Salander has taken the world by storm. After premiering on Swedish screens in February of 2009, the slight heroine can be found on DVD shelves stateside with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and in select theaters with the release of the follow-up film, The Girl Who Played with Fire; plus she'll be soon seen in an upcoming English-language remake of Dragon Tattoo. Many call Salander a strong and rare action heroine who takes matters into her own hands. Those on the other side of the fence discuss Salander's opinions of her own body, and equate the story's frank discussions and glimpses into violence against women as misogynistic.

I find Salander to be a strong, capable, and engaging female heroine. She might make some questionable body readjustments, but they are in line with her character. To link that to a desire to draw more attention to her body is ridiculous. And, there might be much violence towards women in the story, but that's what the story is about -- the many ways women deal with violence and injustice, how horrific it is, and how often it goes unsolved and even unnoticed. Tattoo was originally titled Men Who Hate Women, and the book is completely riddled with statistics and the ways this hate manifests.

But there is a problem with Ms. Salander that doesn't seem to get much play. Her voice and humanity are completely and utterly stifled in the cinematic adaptation, reducing a dynamic character into a lips-zipped arse kicker.
categories Columns, Cinematical