Great Uses of Songs in Movies: Enya’s “Orinoco Flow (Sail Away),” in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Usually if you hear Enya’s song Orinoco Flow (Sail Away), it’s mean to be inspiring and give you grandiose visions of something, anything, that could be. It’s use in The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo however is kind of creepy since it’s being used during a torture/interrogation scene. There’s nothing really inspiring about it save for the idea that you think that the detective might be saved at any moment. In fact there’s every expectation that he might be since characters with this much development don’t usually get taken out in such a fashion unless it’s the kind of movie where anything goes and anyone can get it at any time.

Using the song as a backdrop is kind of ironic in this case since it opens with a very hopeless feeling and then moves on towards a gut-wrenching moment when you think the detective is about to be opened up quite literally. Thankfully his savior comes in and clubs the killer with as much force as possible, though he does get up and starts running not long after. He doesn’t last too long after that however since his SUV catches fire and he’s unable to get out of it. So he kind of ‘sailed away’ but it was really more of a crash and burn than anything. This entire story was kind of messed up in a way that makes it very ironic to hear this song anywhere within the movie. But then again irony is something that audiences love at times since it offers a nice counterpoint to something that might otherwise seem ultimately depressing and even horrifying.

Plus, if you’ve ever heard the song you would know that played a high volume it can drown out just about anything. Despite being a softer song that doesn’t boom into anyone’s ears the tune is one that has the kind of underlying force behind it that could drown out a great deal of noise without much difficulty. That could be why it would be a perfect song for torture, because unless the person being tortured had an amazing set of pipes and could be heard from ten blocks away through concrete, drywall and wood, then no one would be able to hear them through Enya when the music is set on HIGH. It doesn’t make the fact that the song is being used any less creepy but it would go a long way to explaining why it would be used in the first place.

That’d be the last place anyone would want to be in the first place since Stellan Skarsgard is kind of a creepy guy when he wants to be. Every one of his roles in which he’s had to play the bad guy he’s been the kind of person that might be seen as almost on par with Dr. Hannibal Lecter. He’s just a little more high strung than the famed cannibal but he’s every bit as capable of the vicious and heinous acts that Lecter performed. That’s when he’s in character thankfully, on the outside he seems like a very talented man.,


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