|Index||6 reviews in total|
As much as I loved the original film adaptation, and I definitely loved
that, the six episode Swedish mini-series contains much more
information, much more emotional depth and breadth, and is a much more
rewarding experience for the viewer.
Even the addition of long slow closeups of Lisbeth Salander are filled with meaning, emotion, and add greatly to our understanding of her character and her history. Noomi Rapace knocked this one right out of the park. Often, her performance was so strong I found myself actually holding my breath.
With the additional scenes, not footage, by the way, actual intended scenes, we get more of the investigations, and that proves ultimately to be so much more rewarding.
The "Millennium Trilogy" may just end up being my all time favorite adaptation of one of my all time favorite series of novels.
Okay, so I came late to the party, but the Millennium trilogy became
this summer's read. I was a little intimidated by three books which are
600 to 700 pages in length each, but after The Girl With The Dragon
Tattoo finally picked up the pace and became a "page-turner", the last
two books went very quickly. Ultimately, The Girl Who Played With Fire
became my favorite of the three.
So next I started watching the films beginning with the American version of TGWTDT. It was really good, but in my reading of the book I envisioned Liam Neeson, not Daniel Craig. Then I watched the first of the Swedish films. I was kinda surprised at how different they were and I preferred some things about the Swedish version, but I thought the American version was a little better overall.
Then I picked up The Girl Who Played With Fire on DVD at my local BlockBuster (like I said, I came a little late to the party). Since TGWPWF was my favorite of the three books, I was crushed when I saw how badly they had chopped up the story and action.
At this point, I started browsing IMDb.com for background info on the film and came across a member's comments about a 6-part Swedish mini-series. Apparently, the original intention was to present the trilogy as six 90-minute episodes on Swedish television, but the money-making potential for a theatrical release became too great. So everything was re-edited into three feature length films.
The kicker is this guy says that TGWPWF lost an hour of its original footage on the cutting room floor. Now I gotta get a look at the mini-series version, but my BlockBuster (yes, we still have one) doesn't carry it. So I ask a friend who isn't as cheap as me, to look it up on her NetFlix account. HOORAY! It's available for streaming! I bring the food and she supplies the wine and we sit through the middle three hours of the Millennium Trilogy (parts 3 & 4).
OUTSTANDING!!!! I mean not quite as good as the book (production values, casting, etc.), but soooo much better than the Swedish theatrical release. I mean absolutely no comparison with the other version.
I'm a glutton for punishment. So the next night I watch TGWKTHN on Blu-ray (Hey how come it's in 4:3 format? Oh yeah filmed for TV.) Really good. Liked it lots.
One more night, back over to my NetFlix friend's place with dinner and watched episodes 5 & 6 of the trilogy. I gotta admit that the 3rd book was my toughest read. I thought it bogged down in all the SAPO Swedish Secret Police minutia. Well, turns out so did episode 5 & 6. They were good and the background info was helpful, but the pacing (like the book) made it a slow-go. Without spoiling it the final 45 minutes are excellent, but it's a long way to go to get there.
I'm a little burned out on Millennium right now, so I'm not gonna go back and watch those first two TV episodes 1 & 2 for a while yet. But when I do, it will be interesting to see if they improve upon the original Swedish theatrical release version of TGWTDT.
In summary 1. I liked both the American and Swedish versions of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, with a small preference for the American version. (I'm a motorcycle guy, so I definitely liked her vintage bike better.) 2. The theatrical release of The Girl Who Played With Fire is crap. Bypass this one for episodes 3 & 4 of the Swedish TV mini-series. 3. I'll give the nod to the theatrical release of The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest, but not by much. If you really liked all the SAPO details from the book, then go for episodes 5 & 6 of the mini-series.
At this point, I can't wait to see how the American versions of the 2nd and 3rd films turn out. These two books are really just one extended story, so I hope they film them simultaneously and bring them out pretty close together.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Well, i have watched the 3 movies and was left unsatisfied. They have
begun with a extraordinary team-up between an asocial punk and a
patient journalist and they ended with them apart. I find this so
strange and sad that Lisbeth was running away from Micke after giving
him so much that i conducted the case online. That's how i learned that
those 3 movies were initially a TV show that runs 6 episodes of 1h30
each, meaning that 40 minutes have been left of each movie.
Thus, for those who wonder which to watch and buy, well, be aware and don't do as me: skip the movies and choose only the TV show.
Indeed, the movies have exactly the same content, less a lot of scenes, some casual but some paramount! Now, you have another proof against those greedy and lazy producers that prefer money over art and try to enslave the web on the name of defense of authorship! Indeed, instead of release the shows on screen (what about 3 hours movies nowadays?), they invented truncated movies so as sucker like me buy the same product two times.
Sure, now in the show, the characters appear a bit more coherent and I got the answer to my big question. In fact, Lisbeth rejects Micke as she waited for him at the end of Millennium 1 and saw that he's with Erika, the boss of Millennium! It's only a few seconds and there's no way those greedy producers couldn't put it in their movie!
The other scene i get in mind is another ending, the one for Millennium 3, still short but telling a lot: it's about Lisbeth visiting her old tutor after she has been released. For those who think Lisbeth as lacking empathy, it's not true: she can have feelings, even for men but her pain and past overwhelms her expression (if not, she wouldn't dress like a punk!).
So, all those cut scenes show that when she wants, she can talk, thus she appears a bit manipulative or at least not easy going. In all cases, Noomi done a extraordinary job as well as Michael Nyqvist!
With all those products, i stand more firmly that the best adaptation ever is be the movie that you make reading the books!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I finished reading the third book like a year before I watched this
extended edition on a weekend.
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo - I rated it 8. It was good I liked it. The director condensed the book in a productive way. The movie was full of emotion. Definitely the best of the trilogy. It took away of the story unnecessary stuff like the sexual relationship of Mikael with one of the Vangers. It portrayed Lisbeth as the book intended. Or I think so. A great cinematographic film.
The Girl Who Played With Fire - I rated it 7. The book is full of documents and stuff. New characters appearing every minute. This movie managed to cover all the investigation clearly, but lacks of emotion, the movie felt like they have a script of actions just being film in order. Didn't lime it much, but it is good. The fight of Paolo and The blond giantt was good, I found hilarious that Paolo is a real person Stieg Larsson wrote about and he was cast as himself.
The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest - I rated it 8. I liked it more than Dragon Tattoo but Dragon Tattoo is better because all emotion of this film comes from dialogs. Has emotion and is fast. I would have rated it 9 if it wasn't for the last scene where the book's final meaning was changed. On the book Lisbeth finally let Blomkvist into her life. Here, it shows that Lisbeth decided to stay as a closed person and rejected him. I didn't liked this. I hope the Hollywood version gives a more satisfactory ending.
Bonus Disc's Stieg Larson's Documentary - You should try to watch it, this documentary explains the authors life and gives you a deeper meaning of the story.
I decided to go all-out and give myself the full Millennium experience
by watching the TV miniseries (9 hours in total) over the space of
Wow. I loved it. I'm not a huge fan of the crime genre, and I haven't read the books, but MILLENNIUM is a difficult series to fault. It's a mature and mannered piece of film-making, dealing with adult and taboo themes and wrapping the reader up in a realistic and conscious mystery yarn.
Despite the slow pacing, the miniseries is thoroughly engaging. Michael Nyqvist and Noomi Rapace are both excellent leads, bringing to life fully flesh and blood characters who engage the reader's sympathy and emotions throughout. The thriller aspects of the story are exciting and as a whole this is a mature and fully developed piece of work. The original storyline is built upon and expanded in a decent way.
There are slow spots and weaker moments that could have been done better, but overall this is an intelligent, emotionally satisfying mystery yarn. Great direction, great plotting, great acting, great cinematography...what's not to love?
There are parts in the books that can easily be edited out. Now
adaptation is not easy, it's not just about reducing 500 pages of prose
down to 180 pages in script format.
Caveat: the first book (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, or Men who didn't like Women if you take the original Stieg Larsson title) was thought as a 2h movie adaptation before the series format came about. So the first two episodes are to be judged as an inflated version of the first Millennium movie. Actually they just added some scenes that had been left on the editing floor. Anyway the result for this first adaptation really feels disjointed. All the claustrophobic sense specific to this investigation, the slow rhythm of seasons with the long snowy swede winter in the middle, all this is rushed, key scenes are hurried in and characters are bullied around.
Michael Blomqvist is supposed to be the hero in the book, Salander only becoming his sidekick in the process. Fast, she proves to be the interesting edgy character. Less efficient Blomqvist seems dull, predictable, unexceptional. It's a mystery why women find him attractive. But well, in the book you can imagine it's all in his eyes, his smile or whatever. And then the actor they chose just plainly embodies the dull idealist reporter that is so obvious in the book. OK, maybe Stieg Larsson left too much for us to imagine in the book, but that's not an excuse for producers to stick with a character that doesn't go beyond the flat paper-thin Kalle Blomqvist. Either they didn't try harder (best-sellers tight production schedule) or they were not good enough to do a proper adaptation, including rethinking of the storyline and characters to recreate rhythm and suspense.
Now with the second book, the worst in the Trilogy (slow, going around in circles, leaving you time to anticipate everything) there was room for improvement... but the utter failure of the first two episodes, totally missing the Millennium substance transcription to pictures, only left me with the idea to wait for the upcoming American adaptation.
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