My complicated relationship with remakes

Let’s get it out there; I do not like the idea of remakes, when the original has been made less than 5 years ago. It is similar to how I feel about sequels, though less strong. I do not like the idea of remaking a film, just so it can be adapted to make more money. Or because the original was not in English and nobody wants to ever read subtitles. I do not like this laziness.

So every time I read about a European or Asian movie being remade by Americans, I get sad. I say I won’t watch it. Sometimes I don’t, and sometimes curiosity gets the best out of me.

In that fashion I have watched David Fincher’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo last week. and I have to admit I liked it, a lot.

Poster for Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

These were the things that I was worried about when I heard the American remake was on the way:

1. The movie would be 99% the same as the Swedish version; apart from being in English.
2. The actors were going to try too hard to look like the Swedish versions and not bring anything to the table.
3. As much as I can’t bear watching the scenes, I was worried that the scenes between Lisbeth Salander and her new guardian would be softened, made less strong, or altered.
4. That it would be a waste of time to watch it.

And, it wasn’t.

I should have probably thought of the possibility, both the Swedish movie and the Fincher remake are adaptations from Stieg Larsson’s Millenium Trilogy (which means it would be even better to write this after having read the trilogy, which would take me forever, which would mean no blog post, which means no.). So, in a way, it’s less of a remake of the Swedish one but an American adaptation of the Swedish books. And turns out that you can make a fresh film out of material that was already worked with.

While I was thinking about David Fincher’s version, I also started thinking about the violent scenes with Lisbeth Salander in the first movie, and my reactions to the Swedish and American versions. It is interesting to watch how people react differently, how women react one way and men the other way to different scenes of violence. and I think that just earned another blog post in my head, as it ties to a lot of other things I have watched. But I guess I will be less strong about saying I won’t watch any remakes. Never say never, right?

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