girl with the dragon tattoo

Millennium Movies

Tonight, I went and saw the first Millennium movie, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and it was brilliant. Even though I have recently read the books, I still felt the suspense. The main actors were fantastic particularly Noomi Rapace who plays Lisbeth Salander. When I saw first saw her in the trailers, I wasn’t too sure, but Rapace was outstanding in the movie. Strangely (or perhaps not), I liked the film version of Mikael Blomkvist better because he was less of a Don Juan. There were scenes which were extremely hard to watch, as expected, since they were also very difficult to read because they were so violent. My friend, who hadn’t read the books, was horrified.

I can’t wait until the second film, The Girl who Played with Fire, is released. I hope it won’t be as long as it took for the release of the first which was over a year.

Here is the trailer for it:

And here is the trailer for the third and final film, The Girl who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest:

What do you think about these films?

Edit: Hollywood is remaking the movies. Why am I not surprised? The worst thing is, Kristen Stewart (from Twilight) is on the shortlist to play Lisbeth apparently. Why can’t Hollywood stay away?

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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Trailer

I finally found the trailer for the movie with English subs. While all three movies in the Larsson trilogy were released in Sweden and Scandinavia last year, the first movie should be released in the U.K and Australia in March.

I’m interested to see how it plays out although it’ll be pretty unnerving to watch the more disturbing scenes. I like the casting for Lisbeth though she seems a little older and more…fleshed out than I’d imagined, but I prefer an actress who can act rather than one who was simply emaciated.

Review: “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” by Stieg Larsson; translated from Swedish by Reg Keeland

Eighteen percent of the women in Sweden have at one time been threatened by a man.

dragonThese statistics about violence and brutality against women sets the tone of the trilogy’s theme and are preludes to each section. In fact, the original Swedish title is Men who Hate Women. The first in the Millennium trilogy, this is one ripper of a book. The two central characters are introduced: Mickael Blomkvist, an independent and high profile journalist who is also co-owner of the Millennium magazine and Lisbeth Salander, a punky, anti-social, rather ruthless and resourceful genius hacker. And yes, it is Salander with the titular dragon tattoo.

Blomkvist and Salander have their own independent storyline until their paths meet much further into the book. Blomkvist finds himself in a disgraced position and takes a sabbatical when he is offered a one year contract by old Henrick Vangar to write a biography on the immensely wealthy and noted Vangar family. This is a cover for Blomkvist who is primarily there to investigate the mysterious disappearance of Harriet Vangar, the beloved granddaughter of the elder Henrik. The case has haunted Henrik for over 35 years since Harriet’s disappearance one eventful day in the 1960s. Henrik is adamant that she had been murdered by one the numerous members of the Vangar family, a mix of eccentrics, manipulative and dangerous people although the body has never been found.

And so Blomkvist moves to the relatively isolated Hedeby Island where the the majority of the Vangar family lives to try and solve the cold case. It is this section of the novel that becomes very reminiscent of Agatha Christie: an improbable murder, very little clues, impossible environment, a huge cast of suspects and an isolated scene of murder.

The twists in the plot are incredible and one can’t help but think if this is the sort of mysteries Agatha Christie would write if she was alive today. I’ll repeat my assessment of the book – “It’s like Agatha Christie on steroids and crystal meth”. The plot is unique but very very disturbing and rather violent and sheds quite a new light on the clean cut image of Sweden. Blomkvist and Salander are two quite unique characters, particularly Salander, although Blomkvist do at times appear to be the typical heroic journalist. One slight criticism of the novel would be that the ending ties up a little too neatly.

Girl with the Dragon Tattoo takes you on one hell of a ride. While I suspect that some things are probably lost in translation, it is still one ripping read. It’s quite a tragedy that Larsson died before he could see the success of his books and also without the opportunity to write more.