Whenever a favorite book is translated onto the "Big Screen" , you have to hold your breathe... And I was... along with a small popcorn. And I was not disappointed in the least! Director Niels Arden Oplev did a great job of visualizing what Steig Larsson put down on paper. On the screen, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo evoked the stark cold landscape of the Swedish landscape where disgraced journalist Mikael Blomkvist works to solve the 40-year-old unresolved case of the disappearance of wealthy industrialist Henrik Vanger's niece Harriet Vanger. The casting of the actors was perfect. Noomi Rapace, who plays hacker Lisbeth Salander (my favorite character) is spot on, with her harsh look and tough aloof attitude, but with a certain vulnerability that peeks out during the quieter moments of the movie.
The movie is almost true to the book, with some subtle differences. Without giving too much away, Mikael Blomkvist's character is not the cad he may seem in the book, and the ending was changed just a bit. Both aspects did nothing to hurt the overall enjoyment. And a small warning... the brutal rape scene is in the film.
If you haven't read the book, you can still enjoy the movie. And if you have read the book, you will love the movie! There are rumors of an "American" made version of the film to come. The movie I saw saturday night was a foreign film with subtitles. I can't imagine anyone doing any better than the original film. Read my review of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larsson. And you can read an excerpt at Random House. For anyone not familiar with The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, it's the first book in a trilogy. Book two, The Girl Who Played With Fire, has been published in the U.S. , and book three, The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets Nest, is due out May 25th!