Larsson’s Story: Better read than seen

Am I too late to be obsessed with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo?

Is there anybody out there still interested to listen about The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo?

Whatever.

I am experiencing Larsson’s fever. To cure such fever, I need to write all my thoughts to my heart’s content about the story that had been part of my summer. They say when you’re done reading a book, it’s like losing a friend. Like losing a loved one, it is hard to move on, especially when you think about Larsson gone forever. You need to talk about it all over again just to lessen the burden of losing someone.

Probably by now, you must have watched the film adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. If you haven’t, read the book first.

I highly recommend to read the book first before you watched the movie. For one reason, you will not have any feelings towards the film. You will not feel betrayed if the movie does not meet your expectation. Or, you will not learn to like it, the way people who have read the book first. You’ll just feel neutral. Why?

First, if you are not listening carefully to the dialogues of the characters, you might get lost in the story. The book is heavy in dialogue, same with the movie. It’s about digging facts. This means if you are not paying much attention to some boring movie scenes like Salander browsing her computer or Blomkvist browsing the pictures, you might not be able to understand the story.

Second, it is not as thrilling as the book. When you read a mystery novel, you end up saying, “I knew it! ” or you might say,” I should have known.” Because a 158-minute film cannot include everything found on the book, it does not mentally torture you with a number of motives, prospects, or evidence. You don’t feel like guessing at all.

Third, the film adaptation does not tell you much of how deep the partnership of Blomkvist and Salander is. Blomkvist and Salander spend a lot of time together in the book. They have long walks. They sit in the garden. They have coffee and sandwich. It is quite understandable that any director will choose to leave these details out. But these little moments in the book can make you feel that you’ve known Blomkvist and Salander for a long time.

Fourth, you will not get to know Salander and Blomkvist, the way readers do. You cannot read the characters’ thoughts in film. The movie cannot make the audience fully realize that Lisbeth Salander has a heart too (though Rooney Mara played the role well). The film adaptation does not  show scenes of  Salander and her mother which I think  is an important part of Salander’s history.

But…

I am not saying the movie is no good at all. I am happy that David Fincher tried to be  faithful to the book. I saw some parts of the first film adaptation of The Girl with Dragon Tattoo, the Swedish version. By comparison, I can say that the Hollywood version fits more to my imagination. Most of the lines were taken from the book. David Fincher kept some scenes disturbing as they were in the book. Fincher was as highly detailed  in making the film as Larsson was as highly detailed in writing his novel. He was unforgiving in brutally showing the biggest moment in the trilogy of Larsson. I had to close my eyes.

The lead actors were perfect for their roles. Daniel Craig looked stern and attractive. That’s how Mikael Blomkvist should be! Rooney Mara is such a pretty lady. But she was uglified in the movie. Did you know she need to get drunk to internalize her role as Lisbeth Salander? For someone who had not been drinking,  it was  very convincing to see her with psychological problems. Her voice also fits to Larsson’s description of  Salander’s voice, as someone who sounds like a sandpaper.  Also, she had a Swedish accent. She had an expressionless face in the entire movie which I must say, that is so Lisbeth. My only problem with Rooney is her height. Lisbeth Salander is 4’11 tall but Rooney Mara  is 5’6 tall. David Fincher said he could not  find someone who was as short as Lisbeth Salander. Oh Fincher, you should have  visited the Philippines!  LOL

What the novels lacks, the movie can provide. David Fincher captures artistic shots of Sweden. The sounds amplified the tension. You can see how gloomy Vanger’s  mansion is. The winter atmosphere made the film darker. You can almost shiver as you enter the gates of Vanger’s home. For a story that does not require a lot of action scenes, the cast and production manage to make the story visually entertaining.

Watch the movie…..

But for your own sake, read the book first.

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. nuelene
    May 22, 2012 @ 18:07:38

    Another Larsson fan here, I see. I read this novel last year and I was not disappointed. Yung movie naman, di rin ako na-disappoint kasi medyo nag-stick naman yung director sa novel.

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  2. PM
    May 15, 2012 @ 06:08:45

    interesting, my other blog friend talked about the same thing!

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  3. Pointless Paranoia
    May 14, 2012 @ 10:33:48

    In fairness to the Swedish movie adaptation, it was faithful to the lines in the book. Much more with the adaptation of The Girl Who Played with Fire. But as for the book, I have to say I enjoyed reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo more than the sequel. I am now in the process of sinking the idea of reading the third installment in my mind. I wish I could do it, knowing it is yet again a lengthy novel with too much blah-blahs on it.

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    • Jacklyn Belo
      May 14, 2012 @ 12:48:33

      naku, the third book has a lot of blah blah. there are some moments in the third book na pwede naman hindi isama… like Blomkvist’s affairs with other girls which I find it irritating….Sa Swedish adaptation of The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo kasi, there are some parts of the movie that I could not remember happened in the book though i’ve only watched excerpts of that movie …. I haven’t watched the entire film adaptation of The Girl who played with Fire but I’ve watched the The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest. And it was kinda frustrating to see the Swedish film of the last book. Good luck on The Girl who Kicked with The Hornet’s Nest! 🙂

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  4. jackieB
    May 11, 2012 @ 23:38:21

    I bet Lisbeth’s sister is going to be a villain or possibly a victim of domestic violence too…i also can’t wait for Fincher to do The Girl who Played with Fire and the The Girl who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest 🙂

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  5. Katy B
    May 09, 2012 @ 17:43:53

    Your post is a great comparison, although I have yet to see either film. I fell in a weird love with these books, too, after having gone a second try with the initial book. It was a hard one to get started, but I became fascinated enough with Larsson’s true life story that I made myself get into it.

    Both movies are at the top of my “must see” list, and I can’t wait to find out if Larsson’s partner, Eva Gabrielson, has a final installment. She has claimed there is no fourth book written by him (http://www.theweek.co.uk/people-news/3373/no-fourth-book-says-stieg-larsson%E2%80%99s-partner), but I’m patiently waiting in hopes she pens a hybrid version. I want to know her speculation about Lisbeth’s sister!

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