Seeing the Story – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (English)

Theatrical release poster | Wikipedia

Fincher, D., Rudin, S., Zaillian, S., Wallen, M., Faurbye, F. A., Søndberg, O., Stærmose, S., … Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (Firm). (2012). The girl with the dragon tattoo. Culver City, Calif: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

Reasons for Watching: I read all three books in The Millennium Trilogy over the summer. Since I didn’t make it to the cinema to see The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, I requested the DVD via HCPL.

Summary : The paths of convicted journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) and young, asocial computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara) cross as Blomkvist works to “write” the biography of wealthy patriarch Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer). Really, Vanger wants Blomkvist to solve the mystery of the disappearance of Vanger’s grandniece, Harriet (Moa Garpendal). As Blomkvist and Salander collaborate, they uncover the ugly truth of one of Sweden’s richest families.  

Book to Movie Adaptation : The movie followed the first book quite faithfully. There were a couple of changes, of course. Yet, I’m not going to post those here as they took place in middle or latter part of the movie. I wish the plot line concerning Harriet Vanger hadn’t been skewed. Otherwise, I was happy.

Review : After reading the books, I was really excited to see the movie. I was uncertain about some of the actors but it was all good. I was riveted to the screen. Maybe I was rubber necking.

Three Out of Five Pearls 

Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy

Millennium Trilogy Bundle (3 volumes) by Stieg Larsson | LibraryThing

Larsson, S., Vance, S., & Random House Audio Publishing. (2008). The girl with the dragon tattoo. New York: Random House Audio. 9780307577580

Larsson, S., Keeland, R., & Vance, S. (2009). The girl who played with fire. New York: Random House. 9780739384176

Larsson, S., & Keeland, R. (2010). The girl who kicked the hornet’s nest. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. 9780307269997

Things reached such a point that I felt I was the only one who hadn’t read the Millennium Trilogy. Spotting The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo on the audiobook shelf at one HCPL, I decided to give the late Stieg Larsson a chance.

Mikhail Blomkvist, an iconoclastic publisher of Millennium, loses a libel suit in 2002 to billionaire Hans-Erik Wennerström and is sentenced to three months in prison. A little time passes when Blomkvist receives an invitation from Henrik Vanger, the retired CEO of the Vanger Corporation. Blomkvist doesn’t realize that Vanger commissioned an investigation into Blomkvist’s personal and professional history. This was carried out by Lisbeth Salander, a surveillance agent with Milton Security. Vanger requests an investigation into the 1966 disappearance of his grand-niece, Harriet. Salander is an eccentric genius with relatively few scruples. When Blomkvist and Salander collaborate, the bad guys better bar the door.

That’s how all the fun starts. I won’t spoil the latter two novels but I will say The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo lays the groundwork for the others. These must be read in order. Larsson developed compelling characters and situations which forced me to rubberneck. Normally, I prefer cozier mysteries but I had to see the story lines to their ends. Blomkvist came across as a James Bond type (Daniel Craig plays both 007 and Blomkvist, is this a coincidence?) while Salander isn’t terribly likeable. Still and all, I cared about these two. Blomkvist’s attorney sister, Annika Gianinni, was perhaps my favorite character; she truly shines in the third book. While much violence takes place within the Millennium Trilogy, Larsson did not support it. In fact, I’d say he was rather anti-violence. Another difference with this trilogy is that I liked the final installment, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, best.

A couple of personal preferences I’m compelled to mention: 1) Larsson wove much intertextuality into the series. I believe if I’d read these books prior to this series, I’d have a deeper appreciation. 2) I wish I had a better idea of Swedish geography. These places were lost on me. 3) Okay, I was overwhelmed by all of the Swedish names, especially since I listened to the first two books. 4) I thought it was cool when I read about Ikea and Securitas. 5) Yes, I want to see the movie!

Four Out of Five Pearls

Song: ‪How Soon is Now? – The Smiths – YouTube

Setting :  Sweden – mostly

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