The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Well, day 3 of Angie being down with strep combined with me being on the road/in meetings all day yesterday equalled carry out wings from Buffalo Wild Wings and a movie. The night got off to a really strong start as TD’s wing eating debut was a hit. It was also quite enjoyable to see Red grab one of my wings (we had the classic mild sauce) and stick it in her mouth…then proceed to make about ten humorous “ugly” faces while scraping her tongue. The simple joys of parenting always make it so worthwhile. Needless to say, Red didn’t try grabbing any more of my food. After I gave baths to both, TD conducted his post bath “poop” ritual (he doesn’t quite have the “shit, shower, shave” order down yet). During that open time, I was able to read “Through and Through” to Red and get her to bed. Then TD and I read the Bible. It’s one of my favorite nightly activities; I love when he points out how the story foreshadows the coming of Jesus — probably not a coincidence that he’s named after a theologian. Anyway, after getting him down, I was ready to crash on the couch with my ailing wife.
Last night’s feature presentation was The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I recognized the title as some of my friends that still have time to read recreationally had spoken of it on Facebook. So, we gave the film a shot. Now, before I go on to describe the movie, I’m going to just put this out there: I prefer films to books. And I prefer films to plays. And I prefer films to television shows. Let’s face it, I love movies. So before I get my email inbox filled with notes about how great the book is, let me alert you: I won’t read it. It’s not going to happen no matter how incredible it is. Or any other books that became movies. Or just fictional books in general. Ok, that’s the statement I’m sticking with: I don’t read fiction. But I’ll watch it. Film is my preferred media.
So, back to the movie. It was very good. It was complex and contained good depth, although I knew who the killer was within the first 30 minutes. But what was excellent about the movie was how well it portrayed evil. The storyline revolves around two detective-type personalities peeling an onion of evil to try to find out the cause of a 40 year old disappearance. And with each layer they identify and remove, the intensity of the discomfort increases. I’m not going to spoil the film, especially since it’s the first of a trilogy, but at the core you find mental illness, rape, Nazism, and other assorted lies that have been interwoven through a family due to secrets and cover ups.
For me, what resonated is how deadly lies and deceit are, especially when they become institutionalized in relationships. It’s fairly obvious that had certain destructive behaviors been addressed early, a lot of pain and destruction could have been avoided. But instead, people sat back and hoped things would take care of themselves. They told little white lies to keep the peace. Nobody held anybody accountable for their actions, so the actions continued. See, that’s the part we don’t like to think about: when we don’t hold someone accountable, we condone their behavior. While this film centers on a very dramatic level of deceit, the same thing occurs in our lives. If you lie and deceive about something for long enough, you suffocate it completely, squeezing all life and truth out of it. If you think about it, a secret, lie or act of deception is present in almost all acts of evil or the motivation behind them.
So, what behaviors are you condoning by not being willing to hold someone accountable? And what’s the cost?