There are three basic things that I refuse to see in the movies: sexual violence, torture and fishes. That is a life and death kind of rule for me. However, sometimes, as everything in life, there are exceptions.
The Millenium trilogy, based on the books by the Swedish author Stieg Larsson, is one of those exceptions, and a very good one. The first instalment of the series on the cinema is outstanding, either in the Swedish or in the US adaptation. I know that the books have so many other layers than the films, but after both adaptations, I didn't see no reason to read the books, despite the fact that I'd bought the whole trilogy.
I had watched only the first movie, so on May, 13th I decided to reach the second instalment, The Girl Who Played With Fire, in the Swedish version. The US film is predicted to premiere in 2016, and I can't wait for it - David Fincher directing + Rooney Mara + Daniel Craig = an amazing adaptation (the things got a little muddy after the script had leaked in the Sony hacking last year).
The Swedish films are incredible too. The trilogy's main subject is sexual violence as an sick, hideous and unforgivable crime. And something that can go on and on by generations and generations. This second installment on the series adds the sexual trafficking and slavery to the more familiar criminal aspects on the first film. And there is no place to talk about social taboos as violence and sexuality as the cinema. It is a very precious medium of discussion, when the stories are well written and filmed, as it is the case here.
Sexual abuse in familiar environment and sexual slavery are crimes that have increasing numbers year by year. According to Do Something, 80% of the human traffic is sexual exploitation, the numbers estimate as something around 20 to 30 million slaves in the world. That is, 10 million are even nowhere to been seen or even counted in the statistics. Where are those victims? All around us, and we don't see them. Larsson's books discuss this obnoxious crime in a very accurate manner, through a good action story (At the end, I had chewed all my nails...). Books and movies do that without eroticising the sexual violence, a risk in many stories about the subject.
Lisbeth Salander is a great character, and her involvement in solving sexual crimes are not casual: her own story is a reason why she is so dedicated to eliminate those that perpetuate such hideous crime: the men that hate women. She is an amazing troubled strong beautiful heroine. I love her either in Mara's or in Noomi Rapace's performances.
Soon, the last instalment of Millenium series will be here, The Girl Who kicked the Hornest Nest - That's Lisbeth, kicking everything around her without mercy, never conforming to a victim script, and fighting against all this violence with everything that she has.
PS: I've read that the second American instalment on this series will be a bit different from the original book. The reason is an aspect that I loved in the Swedish movie, and I thought was the biggest strenght in the narrative. I won't spoil it here, though. But this series is worthy your time, you should take a look at it :)
PPS: The opening credits in The Girl With The Dragon Tatoo US is one of the best title sequences that I've ever seen, rivalling only with Bauhaus's Bela Lugosi is Dead in the first scene of The Hunger, 1983, and the Virginia Wolff's suicide note on Nicole Kidman's voice in The Hours (I cried so hard from the first sentence ahead that I thought I wouldn't be able to watch the rest of the movie). I remember entering the theater, and staying immediately paralyzed by the scene in front of me, with Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song (performed by Karen O and Trent Reznor) blasting on the speakers. So beautiful that I stayed on my chair to see it again after the movie ending.