Book vs. Movie- The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo

Last night I semi-willingly went to the movies to see The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and left with mixed feelings. If I had never read the novel I would have thought that it was a really food film (like my husband did; he's a total David Fincher fan, though), but since I have I'm a bit conflicted. It's not that I was a huge fan of the novel; in fact, quite the contrary (it was overrated, I'm sorry). My issue, like with most film adaptions, is the tweaking that was done to Steig Larsson's original text.

First of all, Larsson is dead, which I think is a bit unfair. If I was director or producer or whatever I would absolutely only shoot movies based on the writings of diseased authors- no need to worry about insulting the author that way. I know authors don't usually have much of a say in what happens with their movies, but they usually choose to give their endorsement if they approve (and the opposite). Dead? No problem.

Secondly, the end was "adjusted." The main ideas were the same, but one of the twists Larsson created was left out from the movie, which irritated me the whole way home because I was worried I remembered the novel incorrectly (it was a rough ten minutes). There were lots of other substitutions and omissions that just irk me. I hate the feeling of watching a perfectly good movie (and it really is) and critiquing it the entire time because I read the book. I think a lot of parts were rushed through, like the actual investigation, which I know was necessary for the interest of time... but still.

My husband justified the changes on the basis that a) the book is pulpy, and b) directors have to the creative license to adapt as necessary to transition from print to screen. As a somewhat logical person that makes sense, or at least I'd like to say it does. It was also a fairly lengthy books (sometimes felt downright But as someone who wants to one day write a novel, I'd have to say I'd be pretty pissed if someone came in and start messing with my characters and plot.

I guess I'm just protective of novels. Even the not so fantastic ones.

Oh, and I do recommend it. Just know that there is a pretty disturbing rape scene and graphic sex and violence. I do have to say that the opening is pretty awesome- it's basically a music video for Trent Reznor's (and I think Karen O) remake of Zepplin's Immigrant Song. So, I guess go see it. It did make me want to visit Sweden. Life is like one big IKEA there.


  1. I also read the book before watching the movie. I was fine with the changes made. I went to the movie theater expecting a few changes. I always love comparing and contrasting books and movies. It takes me back to high school when I read Romeo and Juliet, The Crucible, The Scarlett Letter, Of Mice and Men, and many others. I enjoyed the book and the movie.

  2. Wait a second...Did I finally find someone else who thought the books was overrated? Omg, I thought I was alone!

    I'm sure I'll see this film, but I find it really weird that they remade it but kept it set in Sweden. It seems unbelievably unnecessary. Did they use accents or are they doing the whole "in movie land everyone speaks with an American accent" thing? So many questions! Guess I'd better just go watch the thing!

  3. I personally enjoyed the book and didn't quite like the Swedish movie adaptation. Thought it had too many holes. I'm excited but leary about watching this one. I heard it's pretty graphic which screams "watch me! I'm pushing the envelope!" Strike one.