Niels Adren Oplev
Living in Montreal, I’m actually a late-comer to the MILLENIUM trilogy, as they were popular here long before they ever came out in North America. All three Swedish film adaptations of the novels have already been released here- although they’ve never been available with English subtitles. My French is pretty good, but I wanted to wait until the English subtitled versions were available, and at long last- I’ve finally gotten my hands on the first installment- THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO.
While all three books are excellent- DRAGON TATTOO is my personal favorite. As an adaptation, this is pretty damn good. Although most of the supporting characters have been axed in order to bring this to a manageable length, the filmmakers managed to keep the flavor, and most of the intrigue of the book intact. The focus here is squarely on Salander and Bloomkvist, and both Repace and Nykvist are perfect. In fact, they’re so good, I wonder if, in the inevitable American adaptation, director David Fincher will be able to nail the casting the way they did here.
If you haven’t read the “Millennium” novels, you might have a bit of a hard time following the mystery which comes across a tad more convoluted onscreen than it did on the page. You might want to do a little pausing, and rewinding- but, like the books, this is less about the mystery, and more about the chemistry between Bloomkvist & Salander, who make a terrific crime solving duo (my biggest issue with the next two books is that Salander , and Bloomkvist spend too much time apart).
Otherwise, we get trailers for this, and the follow-up, THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE; as well as the Vanger family tree which will be useful if you didn’t read the novel, and are having trouble keeping track of who sired who in the tortured Vanger clan.