I don't often give up on books or films half way through, but there are always exceptions. I've tried and tried to like Doris Lessing, for example, but I just can't. And don't even get me started on Baz Luhrmann: first up against the wall come the revolution!
So I'm a little disappointed to have had to give in as far as this evening's entertainment is concerned. It seems almost everyone I know (especially those of the female persuasion) is reading Stieg Larrson's Millenium series – "The Girl …" I'm told they are gripping books, and very well written, etc, etc. Massive sales, and all that. So while browsing through our local HMV recently Mrs WeeKeef (having read the books) comes across a copy of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo for just £7 and we decide to give it a whirl this evening.
Oh – My – God. Life is too short.
I don't know what it is about Sweden. Look up Ingmar Bergman and you will find that "… his major subjects were death, illness, faith, betrayal, and insanity …" No shit! And he was good at it too, but very few people would select old Ingmar for a fun evening in with the Ma-in-Law to finish off the Easter hols. But it is my (admittedly limited) experience of other Swedish fare that the entire country seems to have latched on to this success as a good idea, and is going to stick with it for ever and ever.
I lasted about an episode and a half with the Kenneth Brannagh version of Wallander on the TV recently before getting completely hacked off by the unrelenting bleakness of it all and vowing never to watch another minute. Goodness knows what it was like in the original version.
For this evening, I managed an hour of long silences, 10 watt light bulbs, windy white landscapes, grunted conversations and sexual violence. Is everyone in Sweden really that lonely, cut off, miserable, gloomy, alcoholic and (I'm sorry) ugly? If so, it is no wonder they are reputed to shag each other senseless and then commit suicide in their lemming-like droves.*
The point is – characters in this movie – I don't care. I don't care who you are, I don't care where you came from, and I don't care what happens to you. I don't have to like you to stick with your story, but I do have to care about at least one of you. And I really really don't. Sorry.
Right. I'm off to listen to some ABBA to cheer myself up.
* Yes, I know lemmings don't really do that.