The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

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Remo D
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The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Post by Remo D » Mon Apr 12, 2010 9:00 pm

I have been waiting for this one for quite some time... ever since I read the first book in the late Stieg Larsson's so-called "Millennium Trilogy." And the second book (THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE). Meantime, I'm going crazy waiting for the final chapter (THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET'S NEST) to be published on these shores.

Now, in Sweden, not only do they already have all three books--they already have all three MOVIES! Yep, filmed back-to-back (though by different directors)--but I suppose we'll have to wait our turn for the next two entries, just like we did the books. Meantime, David Fincher has already been announced as the director of the American remake of this first entry (which was known far more bluntly as MEN WHO HATE WOMEN in its native land).

Well, before the concept becomes Americanized, I highly recommend you get familiar with the Swedish original. You really ought to read at least the first book, simply because the book allows far more detail and background to assorted characters and situations which are unavoidably reduced in a film adaptation... nevertheless, it must be said that Niels Arden Oplev has made as fine a film from the book as could likely be made.

In brief, Michael Nyqvist is Mikael Blomkvist, publisher of the controversial "Millennium" magazine--facing time behind bars for his supposed libel of a corrupt tycoon. Noomi Rapace is Lisbeth Salander (frankly, one of the most vivid and unforgettable literary characters to whom I've been introduced in recent years)--a youthful genius in computer hacking and personal research with what might be charitably referred to as a "troubled" past. The intersection of their paths over a baffling 40-year-old missing persons case provides the meat of the story.

Blomkvist's uncanny instinct for investigation lends itself to a perfectly intriguing and satisfying mystery thriller in its own right--but it's Salander's backstory (AND current story) that makes this one of a kind. The film pulls no punches (and the book was even worse) when it comes to the graphic depiction of Salander's mistreatment at the hands of her predatory "guardian" and her response to said mistreatment... it should be pointed out here that these sequences caused at least one person to bolt from the theatre, never to return. And yet I bristle at certain critics who dare to label this "exploitation," as if it were being presented for the vicarious "enjoyment" of the audience. It is utterly crucial that we understand not only Lisbeth's motivations, but the difference between her attitude and that of Blomkvist when simultaneously confronted with a predator of a different (and yet so similar) stripe.

Yes, I'm leaving out almost all of the details. Ideally, I'd like you to read the book first (but if you don't have time and the film's playing near you now, don't pass it up). You won't soon forget it.

The second book will drive you insane with anticipation of the third... and as the author, alas, is no longer with us, I can only hope that the third book was actually written as a concluding installment and doesn't end like the SECOND one... okay, I'm getting ahead of myself.

Here's a great story with remarkable, original characters, fine acting, superb photography (super widescreen), you name it. David Fincher's no slouch... but this one really needs to be Swedish.

Highest recommendation--with the necessary cautions.
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...and I don't even have a dog!


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Kimberly
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Post by Kimberly » Wed May 05, 2010 4:19 pm

saw this the other week... my friend read it for her book club and asked me to go see the film with her. i knew nothing of the books... now i'm dying to get my hands on the girl who played with fire and give it a read.

film was fantastic... although i thought it took a little too long for them to finally get together... then again the book is like 600 plus pages. it was just awesome...

my friend said there was just one or two minor changes... but otherwise spot on with the book.
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