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The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Movie Premiere

Updated on September 1, 2012
JT Walters profile image

JT Walters has a Master's of Science in Behavoralism from Florida State University. She is a researcher in many professions in Florida.


The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

The Book

I loved the books for a variety of reasons but I read it in English so I imagine that it is very different in Swedish. I would have preferred to read it in German but it was not available in the USA that way. I read this book many years ago before any one had heard of this book. It was on the European best sellers list which is not always the way to determine if a European book is good but this one definitely was excellent. Since I was a child I read just about everything. I believe the joke was if I was given toilet paper I would read it. It is true but it has always given me an advantage in determining which books would become classics before they made it onto the best sellers list. For instance I loved the Bourne Identity when I was a child. I read it in grade school. I thought Robert Ludlum was a wonderful author. I also remember I came across Silence of the Lambs before it was on the best seller list. I read it faithfully and then all of Thomas Harris work when I was also young. So I always rather enjoy the books over the films.

The book alone could have stood on its own merits and been a best seller but there was also the compelling death of the author, Stieg Larrson, who did not see a dime from this or any of the three books he completed in his 10 part book series.

Girl with the Dragon Tatto in Swedish

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Movie In Swedish

I am German and I had Swedish friends in college. And while I thought the movie was less than the book it was still a good movie. For me at least, I was not so dependent on subtitles that it interfered with my enjoyment of the film. For the culture of Sweden and for a European film I thought it was great. But still I did prefer the book. Screen adaptations are incredibly difficult to capture the book as you are taking one form of art and transferring it’s medium. Something is always lost. And still yet if you even have a grasp on Germanic languages I would suggest you still see this movie in Swedish.

An comparative analysis between the Swedish version of the film and the American version I thought would be noted worthy.

First I thought the cult theme of Vanger family and subsequently Europe was much more prevalent than in the American version. Where secret societies are a part of everyday life in Europe they seem to remain a secret in America. Obviously since both cultures are so closely aligned secret societies with ritual killings must exist on both continents. I thought the Swedish version addressed this much better.

Second I thought the character of Elisabeth being mentally ill, bisexual, and unable to kill in the American film version was a sad portrait of a very confused young woman that was suppose to be reflective of young women in America today. While in the Swedish film there were no references to Elisabeth being bisexual, mentally ill but she could kill. The female in the Swedish version was a young bright hard young woman while the female in the American film was sad, alone and a bit strange.

Third in the Swedish film Elisabeth leaves Micheal and yet in the American film Elisabeth is dumped by Micheal. It is a sad commentary of the value placed on young American women and their own self worth. Again it is a sad portrait of what the world thinks of American women.

I also though the actress who played Elisabeth in the Swedish version gave a superior performance to Rooney Mara. Although both performance were excellent I believe they Swedish actress to have a better performance because she had a clearer through line then her American counterpart.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo-USA

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Movie In English

There were many things that I like about this film that differed from the Swedish version. I did think Rooney Mara did an excellent job with the character she was given to portray. But the script definitely lost the cult theme of the Vanger family and of Europe.

Amazingly it looked as if both the Swedish version and the American version were filmed in the exact same location.

Daniel Craig while lacking a convincing Swedish accent is always beautiful to look at with his clothes off. Robin Wright had a better Swedish accent then Daniel Craig but honestly Craig performed well.

The American version made the Nazi's the culprits while in the original film it was chauvinism and abuse towards women. None of that going on in America so the director and producers were correct in omitting it.

Oddly enough the American version everyone banked in Zurich while in the Swedish version all the banking occurred in the Cayman Islands.

It was exceptually unlikely and improbable that Elisabeth would have waited around for an older man when she had all that money but I guess someone thought it would sell in the USA

In Conclusion

I always feel like a story should be read in the medium in which its teller initially wished to convene his message. So I of course believe the book of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is excellent. I have been informed there are more books and movies to follow. I haven't had the time to indulge. But if I could only see this film once I would have seen it in the Swedish version although the American version is not bad. Both films are good but not equal as their premises are different.

What is for certain is that a great talent and wonderful story teller is not with us to share his success and we will forever be grateful to Steig Larrson for taking the time to share these wonder stories with us.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo


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    • JT Walters profile image

      JT Walters 6 years ago from Florida

      Hi Frannie Dee,

      That is just it the I think something is always lost in the adaptions from the book to the film. But I did like the Swedish version of the film. Yes, it is too bad about Larrson. He was truly a wonderfully gifted and talented author. It is a shame his fame can after his life. But what great gifts he left all of us behind.

      Thanks for reading and responding.


    • Frannie Dee profile image

      Frannie Dee 6 years ago from Chicago Northwest Suburb

      Hi JT. I read the trilogy in English and I just hope that the English movie versions live up to the books. It is a real shame that Stieg Larrson could not finish this project and enjoy the world wide success.

    • JT Walters profile image

      JT Walters 6 years ago from Florida

      Hi Dex,

      You have told me something I didn't know. I have kind of been out of it the last couple of years caring my Mom. They made the two other films? OMG!!! I will have to see them. I just checked on Demand and it isn't on there. But I will be in hot pursuit.

      Thanks Dex and yes, I am looking forward to seeing the American version as well.

      Thanks Dex!!


    • Dexter Yarbrough profile image

      Dexter Yarbrough 6 years ago from United States

      Hi JT! I saw the Swedish version and its two sequels. Great movie. I am looking forward the the American version.

      Thanks for sharing information on the books and about Stieg Larrson. Voted up, up and away!