Out of sheer resentment I will only fleetingly acknowledge the second inferior attempt to make this book into a film, as this will be a review of the original. I fail to understand the assumption that a Hollywood blockbuster will outshine any counterpart, particularly when considering that the first film was a Swedish production of a Swedish book and so perfectly mirrored every aspect of the storyline. Anyway I’ll stop moaning and move on to what I do want to talk about; the book.
What I loved the most about the entire trilogy was the way that Larsson managed to find a perfect balance between character development and action. The central character, Lisbeth, is quite possibly one of my favourite females of all time, purely because I found her so instantly likeable. She’s powerful and often intimidating to those around her but it becomes increasingly clear that this is all an effort to mask her fragility.
For me the most emotive moments in the book and film were those where we saw the motives behind her actions, namely those against rapist Nils Bjurman. In many ways she becomes an unknowing feminist figure as she holds her relationships with men at a distance in order to protect herself. Though we see that Blomkvist is a man she should trust, it is very easy to identify with her and why she has so many emotional barriers. However it’s safe to say that most of these are broken down by the end of the first book.
I don’t know how the cast could have been improved on because they were astonishingly brilliant at inhibiting their roles. Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyqvist managed to perfectly recreate the fragmented relationship between Lisbeth and Mikael, which I really enjoyed watching. Though the book and film have slightly different endings the internal relationships between the characters remain similar so it was not an issue for me. I also appreciated that the director was clearly hesitant to make Lisbeth a victim and so focused on the pride she gains through revenge as opposed to the awful abuse that she had to suffer. It gave the movie a hardened edge that was certainly reflective of her character.
Overall if you want something to really dig your teeth into the books are very well written and easy to get stuck into, whereas the film provides a fantastic but unavoidably modest insight into their world. But, of course, if you’re like me you’ll want to do both!