It’s Friday night and, due to circumstances outside our control, my Other Half and I can’t together. So, instead of spending my evening the usual way, I decided to spend some time with my mother, buying her dinner and renting a good movie. Because I have so many movies on my hard disk I very rarely actually go through the trouble to rent one but, an opportunity presented itself and I grabbed it.
What I got was The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, the Swedish version.
I had tried to read the book when it came out originally, but I struggled with Larson’s style – in particular the way he put forth facts. I could see that the man was a journalist because he was intent on details. Especially in the beginning, I found the details to be a bit drowning. And, honestly – I found the brutality against women a bit harrowing. It put me on edge so, I put the book down just as the hype surrounding it really flared up. I realized that I was in a bit of a dilemma. Here was clearly a very good story – one which I just couldn’t make myself read.
So, I bought the audio book and listened to it on a very long business trip. I still felt swamped by the details but having somebody else read it to me made it a little bit better. I was intrigued, taken and a bit horrified by Lisbeth Salander. She was an original character, something that has become quite rare in our time. (Vampires, vampires everywhere…)
I knew that there was going to be a movie but was very surprised at the speed of which it was done. And, lo and behold, the Americans didn’t get it in there first. Sweden nicked the chance and produced their own movie before Hollywood got at it.
I loved it.
There’s always something very honest about European films. Hollywood tends to be too… shiny. Too big. Too booming. (And heaven save us, they cast Daniel Craig rather than Johnny Depp as Micheal Blomkvist).
I’m very glad that the Swedish version was out first, for all its honesty and open brutality.
For all my problems with the book, I liked the flow of the movie. It cut out most of the details, leaving you with the facts of Salander’s life and her strange relationship with Blomkvist. Hollywood would most certainly have tried to avoid the fact that she was a bisexual, rather just not showing her girlfriend at all but it was hard to miss in this film when you had a scene of two naked women waking up together…
I’m definitively, eagerly waiting the next film to appear on DVD. The man that they cast as Blomkvist –Michael Nyqvist wasn’t pretty, or young and blond. He was an honest (not really handsome) middle aged man. Noomi Rapace also did a great job portraying Lisbeth. Although she wasn’t as thin as she had been described in the books (something I’m sure Hollywood would leap at correcting) she managed to portray Lisbeth’s extreme awkwardness with other people. Just through her face, her anger and her walk, you could imagine the troubled but brilliant young hacker.
If you’ve been debating whether or not to watch this movie, I would urge you to do so. Don’t wait for Hollywood to mess it up, see it as it should be.
Thanks for this great review. I will definately check it out. I too had trouble with the book, but maybe I’ll try it again.
I loved the book and loved the movie. Yup, Hollywood would just mess it up – so glad you watched the real thing! The brutality is disturbing, but it’s very much part of Lisbeth’s story. She has to deal with it and so do we.
Lisbeth is one of those characters who touched me very deeply, and who inspires me.