Friday, November 12, 2010
We recently saw The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest at our local art house theater, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. My wife Alison, however, was disappointed that the film didn't feature a mystery story that the oddball duo of crusading journalist Mikael Blomkvist and punk computer genius Lisbeth Salander solve together. All it was, she said, was more of that "crazy stuff" about Lisbeth's past.
While I found the "crazy" stuff" fascinating, I could see her point. The first movie (and, of course, book) in the series introduced these two compelling characters who drew our attention, but then also gave us an elegant little mystery story for them to solve. She liked that, and I guess I did, too. But then books/movies #2 and #3 come along, and no mystery stories are in sight. I mean, wouldn't a lot of people have been frustrated back in the 1920s if, after enjoying Agatha Christie's wonderful new detective character Hercule Poirot in The Mysterious Affair at Styles, the follow up books didn't feature Poirot solving mysteries but dealing with dysfunctional family members?
Myself, I don't think the second and third books/movies in this series are necessarily flawed for not giving us mystery plots like the first story did; in fact, one can give them extra points for going off in unexpected directions. And in the back of my mind I'm one of the people who do give them extra points for doing that. But, as said, I'm definitely sympathetic with the views of people like my wife who really enjoyed the dark and compelling missing person case in the first story and wanted more of the same.
The book version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is currently the #4 Kindle bestseller and is priced at $5.20. The Swedish-language movie version of the book is currently out on DVD (and also features an optional English-language track if you don't like subtitles).
The book version of The Girl Who Played With Fire is currently the #7 Kindle bestseller, going for $7.59. The movie version is also out on DVD (same language parameters).
The book version of The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest is now the #3 Kindle bestseller, and is the priciest of the three books at $9.99. The movie version is now in theaters (mostly art house venues) around the country, but you'll have to watch it in Swedish with English subtitles.
An American production of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is now being filmed by director David Fincher, and stars Daniel Craig (the latest James Bond) and Rooney Mara (most recently seen in The Social Network) as Mikael and Lisbeth. The movie arrives in theaters December of 2011.
What do you think of all these issues? Are you like my wife and like the first movie a lot but not the other two as much, because of her stated reasons? Or maybe you're a fan of all three books and think that the current movies- any of them- don't compare well to the books, due to all the cuts that had to be made to get the stories down to manageable length for the screen. In any event, there is no shortage of opinions out there when it comes to these stories and the several ways they're being told.