Monday, 16 March 2015

Millennium Volume I

Stieg Larsson, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (London, 2008).

This post assumes knowledge of the novel.

Vanger and the police should have looked at all the newspaper photographs and should also have realized that Harriet's list of numbers could have been Biblical references instead of telephone numbers. The detective, Morell, would then have recognized a connection with one murder and could have looked for the others.

I think that any screen adaptation of a novel should be a serial to include everything. However, given the constraint that the content of this long novel was shortened to fit into the length of a feature film, it is interesting to see how some details were changed to tell essentially the same story in a shortened form.

In the novel, Blomkvist's visiting daughter recognizes Harriet's numbers as Biblical references. When Blomkvist realizes that the references are connected to murders, he gets the help of a researcher, Salander. In the film it was Salander who saw that the numbers were Biblical references and emailed this information to Blomkvist.

In the novel, Vanger has photos of Harriet's window closed, then open. Blomkvist finds another photo with Cecilia's face in the window. In the film, Vanger has a photo of a face in the window. It is Cecilia's sister, Anita, although Vanger thinks that it is Harriet!

In the novel, Salander wakes, sees that Mimmi has gone, then is visited by Blomkvist. In the film, it is easier to tell us that Salander has been sleeping with Mimmi by showing Mimmi still in the bed when Salander wakes.

In the novel, the pressed flowers can be mailed to Vanger from anywhere in the world although usually from Stockholm and the one that arrives at the beginning of the novel does come from Stockholm. At the beginning of the film, it comes from Hong Kong.

In the novel, Salander answers Frode's questions about Blomkvist. In the film, she insists that it is all in her report and leaves the room, saying little, which is in character for her.

Later: Salander visits her mother in a nursing home throughout the novel whereas she visits her for the first time in a long while at the end of the film.

OK. It gets more complicated. In the film, the woman in the window who Vanger thought was Harriet was really Anita. In the novel, the woman in the window who Blomkvist thought was Cecilia was also really Anita.

17 Mar: As far as I can remember from a single viewing so far, the film leaves out the relationship between Blomkvist and Cecilia. He has enough going on with Berger and Salander for a single film.

In the novel, the confrontation between Blomkvist and Martin does not begin with the confrontation between Blomkvist and Harald that is in the film. The film adds a scene with Salander and Martin at Martin's wrecked car.

Salander's mother dies near the end of the novel. The film shows flashbacks of young Salander burning her father, although we do not know that that is who he is yet. The latter is a consistent addition, not a contradiction.

In the film, Blomkvist attends a family meeting, which does not happen in the novel. In the novel, he has an unpleasant confrontation with Harriet's mother, which does not happen in the film.

In the novel, Blomkvist tells Vanger that Harriet is alive, is nearby and is willing to meet him whereas, in the film, Blomkvist springs Harriet on Vanger unannounced.

18 Mar: The way in which Dahlman is exposed as a spy for Wennerstrom differs between novel and film. Wennerstrom was shot in the novel but committed suicide in the film.

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