I know the film has been out for over a year and the DVD for a while but I only got to watch 'The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo' - whose original and more potent title was 'Men Who Hate Women' (a far more appropriate title given the nature of the book) - the other day. Having read the Millennium Trilogy (this is part one) by Stieg Larsson last year I was always looking forward to the film versions of the books. They're made for film whether on the big or small screen (infact, I believe this film was originally a two part television film re-edited into a big screen version) as they're over the top, with plenty of puzzle solving, plot twists, melodrama, violence and filled with well drawn characters engaged in a plot that moves forward at a relentless pace. Underlying the books is of course a number of serious subjects including racism, patriarchal misogyny, sexual violence and globalization - a reminder that all is not well in social democratic Sweden, a country we often view as enlightened and liberal, a country unlike our own.
So, for those of you who haven't read the books I'm afraid you'll have to go elsewhere for a synopsis. Suffice to say that the trilogy makes for great holiday reading and if like me you're prone to reading thrillers late at night be warned; this book and its companions are pages turners and the chances of you getting much sleep are minimal.
So to the film, let me begin by saying that I'm glad I saw the Swedish version first. David Fincher is directing the Hollywood version next year with Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara (Tanner Hall, Dare, The Winning Season, The Social Network) in the lead roles and although I'm looking forward to seeing how they approach it I can't see quite how they're going to capture the psychological atmosphere of Sweden well as their Swedish counterparts.