MR- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Book before movie. Movie before book. What to do, what to do……

There are usually two camps of people out there when it comes to books that are made into movies.

1) Those who adamantly refuse to see the movie until they read the book
2) Those who want to see the movie first and then read the book later, or never

I typically fall in the second camp. Mostly because if I’ve read the book first, all I can think about when I am watching the movie is how they changed this, or wait, that person didn’t do that, or hold on a second here, he didn’t say that or OMG they left THAT PART out??? I find it almost impossible to really enjoy the movie for what it is or what its intended to be apart from the book.

I went counter to my usual with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I had some time while the hubby was away for a month and wanted to get caught up on some reading.I had heard about this book for what seems like years and so I thought I better jump on the bandwagon and get to it already. I actually started the book about a year ago but it was so slow at the beginning that I couldn’t stick with it. However when I saw this preview (arguably one of the best movie trailers of all time, yes I WILL go there) for the movie, I picked it back up and really couldn’t put it down.

I was very interested to see how they were going to translate the book to the big screen. I must say they did a VERY good job. Minor changes here, a few parts left out which in my opinion made sense and the ending was altered. Not enough to make me feel cheated, but enough to probably make some hardcore book fanatics mad.

The opening sequence (the credits) was awesomely epic. Its really hard to describe what it was other than “artistic”, but the song and the artistry of it was captivating. Totally set you up for what you knew would be an exciting ride of a movie.

I thought the movie flowed really well, maybe a little slow in the beginning which follows the pace of the book. The German/Swedish accents (it was hard to tell which was which) were kind of come and go, but they did a great job of casting. Even though the majority of the main actors were recognizable to american audiences, they all had a European feel to them.

Director: David Fincher. Fight Club. The Social Network. Seven. Need I say more?

Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara were both perfectly cast. I had been reading for a while about casting Lisbeth and the struggles they had with it, but I feel like she did a fine job portraying the sullen yet genius character of Lisbeth Salander, probably one of the more complex women characters in cinema in a long time. A relative newcomer, Rooney completely embodied Lisbeth.

I love Daniel Craig as James Bond and now I love him as Mikael Blomkvist. He was just made for these roles.

Again, its very hard for me to look at the movie independently of the book, but Paul saw it with me and he seemed to follow along with it OK even though its a complicated entanglement of a few different stories (with lots of crazy Swedish and German names added in to complicate things make it easier to follow along with). The climax was disturbing and uncomfortable in the movie, more so in the book, the resolution was mostly true to the book and it set up predictably for the next two books that will inevitably be made into movies as well.

I haven’t seen the Swedish films, although I have heard that they are fantastic. I would be interested to see how much they differ and compare the acting as I have heard the Swedish casting was superb.

This probably goes without saying but this is not a kid-friendly movie. Lots of adult themes and a disturbing story-line.

I can’t decide if I should read the next book The Girl who Played with Fire before seeing the American movie that will inevitably be made the Swedish movie. What’s a girl to do??????

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7 responses

  1. I can’t wait to see this movie. I finished TGWTDT on Sunday morning and started TGWPWF right away. I’m finding the sequel to move slower at first, I didn’t find the first one slow at any part. You are right, it is pretty disturbing material. Larsson (and I assume Fincher) did a good job of character development. I’m waiting for Allan to finish Dragon Tattoo so we can go see the movie (he’s about 75% done). I’ve never watched Craig, but I’ve enjoyed Skarsgaard, Plummer, and Rooney’s bit part in The Social Network. I really liked TSN, casting, set, score, screenplay so I’m sure Fincher will not disappoint. I also want to watch the Swedish version. In fact, I read the whole Sweden entry on wikipedia last night.

    P.S. I still don’t know your rating system. All it ever does is make me want popcorn.

  2. I predict you will like it. Just click on the rating and it will take you to the explanation silly. Its under my movies header on the top menu. Allan needs to hurry up and finish the book so we can all discuss our thoughts!

  3. I am completely obsessed with this series! I haven’t read books 2 and 3 yet but I have all of the Swedish movies and am in love with them!! I liked the American movie but the part that disturbed me the most was that Anita was still alive! Um no. Wrong! And he never went to prison… but other than that it was an awesome movie. I’m just biased. I can’t wait for the rest of the Hollywood ones. I know the Swedish ones are on Netflix but I bought mine from the Redbox for $5 each. 🙂

  4. I finished just the other day, and am excited to see both versions of the movie (I am pretty sure all three of the Swedish versions are on netflix streaming). They had me at Fincher/Reznor collaboration. Then add in a great story and I am for sure wanting to see it in the theater. Many had told me that the the book was very disturbing, and didn’t know how they could make it into the movie. After finished the book, while it has some disturbing scenes, I was not totally disturbed by any part. I think I had been desensitized after reading all of Palahnuik’s books.

    • very true, reading Palahnuik could FOR SURE desensitize. The part that just GOT me was when Martin revealed that he had someone down in his “chamber” while he had Mikael over for drinks (or dinner, whatever). That just freaked me the heck out. The juxtaposition of Martins calm demeanor and the sick twisted insanity of his character. Shivers.

  5. I loved the book and the movie! I didn’t feel like they needed to change the end where Mikael didn’t have to go to Australia to bring back Harriet Vanger and she ended up being in London the entire time. And it bugged me right after seeing it but I don’t think it’s that big of a deal now. I want to see it again.

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