[I set myself the task of reading the book and then watching the film at the cinema within a week and here are my results.]
Well the first thing to say is that reading a book over a week and then going straight into the cinema to watch the film is a surreal experience. It feels almost like you’re reliving your recent past and you feel quite liberated when the lights come up at the end.
That aside, how does the film compare to the novel?
Well, the scriptwriter/producer/director/editor made some changes to the start and the finish of the story, probably for the better. They also omitted some characters and plot strands, but I didn’t think they went far enough though. There’s far too much to cover in a film and at times you can almost see the natural breaks in the story where parts 2 and 3 of the film or mini-series would start.
On the plus side, the film is really well filmed and the lighting fantastic throughout. Also Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyqvist are great as Salander and Blomkvist and their relationship works well onscreen. In fact, the general social interactions seem much more natural onscreen.
Otherwise, there are inevitable montages and expositions as with any crime thriller, more-so than the novel, but what’s really made obvious on the screen is the irrelevance of the title. They might as well have called it ‘the woman with the nose piercing’ or ‘the guy without a mustache’ – perhaps the original ‘men who hate women’ would have been best stuck with. Also, the way people got away with things seems less believable (oar in the face comes to mind, as do the unsolved murders).
So it’s an overlong film with great central characters and is brilliantly shot, but it’s a bit far fetched and clunky at times.
3 on 5
PS – It can be quite brutal at times. Nothing like Irreversible, but perhaps more like Se7en.
Director: Niels Arden Oplev
Starring: Noomi Rapace, Michael Nyqvist
UK Release: 12th March 2010