My wife and I gave the Swedish version of the movies about Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy* a viewing this past week. We came away extremely impressed and entertained. The movies and books are called:
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,”
“The Girl who played with Fire,” and
“The Girl who kicked the Hornet’s Nest.”
We watched the movies in Swedish with English subtitles. They star Noomi Rapace as the girl with the dragon tattoo, Lisbeth Salander, and Michael Nyqvist as the lead journalist (and publisher) named Mikael Blomkvist for the investigative Millennium news magazine. There are numerous actors that have large screen time based on the movie and plot. Lena Endre plays Erika Berger, the editor of the Millennium and past and sometimes present love interest of Mikael. Mikael’s sister Annika, played by Annika Hallin, is an attorney whose role is more pronounced in the final Hornet’s Nest movie.
There was an English version of the first movie starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara which did well, but I think the movies need to be seen in Swedish as the culture and language lend themselves to the plot. Plus the two leads, Lisbeth and Mikael are so well played by Rapace and Nyqvist. The physicality and stoicism of Rapace brings so much to Lisbeth who has seen (and does see) more trauma than anyone should ever have.
The plots are detailed, but fast moving. The physical action is present, but not like the CGI movies where it is constant. There is lot to unpack through the dialogue, which is good. Subtitles help greatly as you can rewind and read what was said. To me, the Swedish language lends itself to the dialogue as it is not as overdramatized as American English sometimes is in movies. In fact, some of the best scenes are where Lisbeth just stares back at people who are there to use her rather than give them any fuel to add to the fire. And, when she does speak, she disarms people with her intellect and memory.
Each movie is rated highly by Rotten Tomatoes as is the English version. A key reason is each story and screenplay has a captivating plot and intrigue. If you have not seen the movies, give them a look. If you have, let me know what you think? Also, if you read the books, let me know how close the movies follow the books.
*Note: Per Wikipedia,
“Millennium is a series of best-selling and award-winning Swedish crime novels, created by journalist Stieg Larsson. The two primary characters in the saga are Lisbeth Salander, an asocial computer hacker with a photographic memory, and Mikael Blomkvist, an investigative journalist and publisher of a magazine called Millennium.
Larsson planned the series as having 10 installments, but completed only three before his sudden death in 2004. All three were published posthumously by Norstedts Förlag: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo in 2005, The Girl Who Played with Fire in 2006, and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest in 2007. Larsson’s novels were originally printed in Swedish, with English editions by Quercus in the United Kingdom and Alfred A. Knopf in the United States translated by Steven “Reg Keeland” T. Murray. The books have since been translated by many publishers in over 50 countries. By March 2015, 80 million copies of the first three books had been sold worldwide.”