Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2009)

Where is Harriet Vanger? She has disappeared 40 years ago. Her great uncle, the rich Henrik Vanger hires journalist Mikael Blomkvist - who is about to serve his jail time - to solve the mystery. Henrik has dedicated 40 years to find her and would like to make one last attempt before he died.

I have read The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo book and was surprised because I could still enjoy the movie. Perhaps this is the first Swedish movie I have seen and the language sounded so strange, even though I also don't understand Mandarin, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, German, ... After reading the book, I felt that the story had ended; I mean one can read book one only without reading the sequel (=The Girl Who Played With Fire). However, in the movie there is some hints that we must see the sequel: Little Lisbeth who threw petrol and burned someone in a car, Lisbeth's mother in a hospital.

The Wennerström Affair is mentioned a lot in the book, but in the movie it's only minutes. They focus on the investigation about Harriet and how it leads to series of murders. Several characters are missing, like Blomkvist's daughter and Anita Vanger; the cause of Salander's laptop to break is different (the movie is better), and Blomkvist's partner Erika Berger only appears for a couple of minutes ~ but basically it's faithful to the book. 

It is nice to see Sweden and particularly Hedeby. The bridge is much longer than I imagined and it is easier to see now why the contact was totally off when there was an accident on it. Martin's basement has more light and more cheerful than I had in mind. I thought of a real torture chamber, like the one in the Tower of London, for example. Or like the one in The Mermaids Singing from Wire in The Blood.

I think the Wennerström Affair is not as interesting as the investigation about Harriet (perhaps that was why they shortened it in the movie), but perhaps it's an important link to connect the trilogy, which is about the magazine - that is why it's called the Millennium Trilogy.

I imagine Sweden as a nice little country. We here hardly hear anything from there. So between 1949 - 1965 the killer had killed at least 5 women (in the book there were more) and the police didn't see the connection? Or they closed their eyes because they were from a minority group? The women had been mutilated, a way which I think was not often done in the 50's. My mother told me when she was a kid, there was a murder (without mutilation) in a city 100 kms from where she lived and it was a big news on the radio and all people talked about it. It is not like today, when murder is every day's news. Perhaps that is why murders in Agatha Christie's books are often made like accidents. However we are talking about fiction here. 

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