I’ve had the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo movie in my Netflix queue ever since I heard about it. It just recently became available and it is now available to watch instantly! Major fangirl geekiness ensued.
I watched it last night. My review will have major book and movie spoilers so I’m putting it below the break in case you don’t want to know or just don’t care.
This is the Swedish version with English subtitles. I hear they are planning on doing it in English eventually.
1. This is a simplified version. It has to be because the book is so complex. A lot of characters aren’t in the movie.
a) Erika Berger, the editor of Millennium is seen in a few scenes but she is never named. There is no romantic relationship between her and Mikael except for one kiss when he leaves.
b) Millennium is just a side note. The movie has Mikael resign from the magazine. It never mentions that he is an owner. He publishes an expose at the end in the magazine but that’s the only other mention of it. For some reason the Erika character is seen to be surprised that he published. Seems odd to anyone who knows who she is.
c) Palmgren, Lisbeth’s good guardian is never seen. He is mentioned to have had a stroke but that’s it.
d) Mikael does not have a daughter so Lisbeth breaks the Bible code in Harriet’s diary early in the movie.
e) Anita Vanger is dead.
2. The book is very brutal of course but since you are reading it over a period of time the violence is spread out. In a 2.5 hour movie the violence happens more often and seems more prominent. The rape scenes are pretty horrific.
3. In the book Mikael is sort of described as a sex god since he is sleeping with at least three women during the course of the story and it refers to his ability with the ladies. The actor in the movie doesn’t give off that vibe. The only relationship he has is with Lisbeth. No Erika or Cecilia.
4. There is no quid pro quo with Henrick Vanger. In the book Mikael works for him supposedly writing a biography in order to get information for his libel case. In the movie he is paid to conduct an open investigation. Lisbeth hacks Wennstrom’s computers to get the information to convict him instead. She brings the info to Mikael in jail and then disappears. She isn’t off pouting because she saw Mikael with Erika. I like this version better than the book. (I never like movies better!) I always found Vanger having the dirt on Wennstrom a weak part of the book. Why would he have all that information just sitting around? This seems more logical.
5. The movie ends with Lisbath stealing Wennstrom’s money and being seen in the Caymans. Mikael recognizes her and so he knows where she is. If there were plans to make The Girl Who Played With Fire that changes a lot since he spends most of that book trying to find out where she is.
6. Very little of Lisbeth’s backstory is shown. She is known to be violent and it shows her firebomb her father. She has one visit with her mother and mentioned that he abused her mother. No mention is made of all her abuse in mental hospitals. It doesn’t really explain why she is under guardianship.
I’m not sure what I would have made of the movie if I didn’t know the book. I might have been confused. I may think that since I know so much that was left out. Maybe it holds together just fine in the simplified version.