so last month about October 5th, i bought this novel over Periplus on the airport when i was going to Jakarta. for an imported novel, it’s affordable and not that far different from the Indonesian translation.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

that’s the title.

buying that novel was kind of huge leap since Animal Farm that my Father gave me when i was in high school was not finished until now. so i started reading this first of Stieg Larsson’s Millenium Trilogy with full hesitation whether i’d finish it or not. or whether i’ll finish but the question was ‘when’.

surprisingly, this afternoon i finished reading that 644-pages-novel. in English. for myself it’s quite an accomplishment.

one of the motivation was because while reading it, i also downloaded the movie. the Sweden’s version because i was curious how the native would picture the case.

so right after i was done with the novel, i straightly watched the movie. while i was watching the Sweden’s version, which originally it’s entitled Man Som Hatar Kvinnor, i downloaded the USA’s version. sort of greedy, but i was totally curious. this story was nothing like i read before.

at 5 pm, the Sweden’s version had left a mark on my brain. and now, i just caught in awe from the USA’s version.

in this post, i’d like to compare the three sources. the novel. the Sweden’s version. and the USA’s version.

frankly, two friends of mine said that people really can not compare novel with movie. there are limitations to build specifications on novel into movie. of course they said that since they two are filmmakers. but then i said to them – only one who received my counter attack well – that it actually depends on how good the director and scriptwriter is, since limitation on duration is honestly unbearable. it’s how they cut and/or add the long story into a moving picture without leaving any essential plots.

so here it is. first, the novel.

Novel Cover, design by Peter Mendelsund

i love the novel. i admire the way Stieg Larsson described everything in details. however, the beginning of the novel is sort of boring and tiring. honestly, all the way through the novel is tiring. since it contains a lot about Vanger’s history, so much dates, places and names. and i don’t quite get Scandinavian. hard for me to memorize just the names. just until the middle part i get that Hedeby is an island that’s part of city named Hedestad and it’s connected through a bridge and nothing else.

this novel is a new kind of reading for me. so i found it a bit vulgar which it has so much “bed action” whether it happened on a bed or not. however, some of them are crucial and unavoidable to tell, so i understand that they’re a must.

Mikael Blomkvist, i imagined he’d be… well, good looking in objective view. or just an ordinary face with gesture people couldn’t resist. from the way Mr Larsson wrote that Blomkvist is a persuasive ladies-man, i assumed he’s O blood type haha πŸ˜€ who knows. i like the character. i like when he woke Lisbeth up in her apartment. i know why even Lisbeth Salander falls for him.

Lisbeth Salander. she looks like an image of my friend who’s a boy. not the insane and crazy trait, but the antisocial yet attractive trait.

Dragan Armansky. i adore the name. i wish he had more portions on the story, ha! at first, i thought this novel would focus on Dragan and Lisbeth.

the twist, for God sake! how i gasped. it’s terrifying and unexpected! and Harriet’s fate. dang, i never thought that way.

okay, second, Sweden’s version (Man Som Hatar Kvinnor)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009 film)

Man Som Hatar Kvinnor (2009 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

for a winner of Bafta award, it is good, it does deserve an award. but for someone who already read the novel, this movie isn’t that “faithful” to the plot and timeline. and the big question is “why killing Anita Vanger’s character so early?” from the beginning it’s stated that Anita Vanger had died of cancer. yeah, i’m not a fond spectator on that one.

no cat! i like the cat, it seems cute.

oh this one was a bit fatal, too. no Pernilla’s help on the Bible. instead, it’s Lisbeth, then from the email, Mikael can track down Lisbeth. a bit anticlimax, don’t you think?

ah also, in this movie, there’s glimpse on what Lisbeth did to her father. uhm… and Lisbeth’s mother’s name also appears, which in the novel doesn’t. finally, it’s told that her mother’s still alive, she’s visiting her in the end of the movie. in the novel, her mother died after Anita Vanger’s house stakeout.

overall this movie was good. but, just it, it’s just good.

perhaps it has something to do with the language. since i don’t understand Swedish at all, i might not feel as deep as usual. perhaps, just perhaps.

finally, USA’s version

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011 film)

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011 film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mikael Blomkvist was played by Daniel Craig and i think this is perrrffeeect!! oh my God, it’s almost exactly i imagined how Blomkvist would be – in the Sweden’s version, i think Michael Nyqvist was a bit chubby.

personally, i love the USA’s version probably 3 times better than the Sweden’s. why? because the USA’s version is more “faithful” to the novel, although it’s told that Blomkvist only had to pay some amount of money enough to broke him, but no jail time.

from the opening, this version sounds more convincing. just from the soundtrack, it spreads threats, like telling us it’s going to be so dark yet incredible.

what amazed me is this movie really is that faithful. the prologue conversation between Morell and Henrik Vanger, how Blomkvist confronts the press after the verdict, situation on Hedeby Island that’s extremely cold, discoveries of the 5 died women, the basement, until Lisbeth’s adventure wearing those fake boobs. it’s like reading the novel once more since it’s that almost accurate.

yeah but that doesn’t mean it has no flaws. small flaws, like, what i said before, no jail time for Blomkvist, it’s Harald’s camera instead of Greger’s; and the way Martin’s accident happens. bigger flaw like Harald Vanger that’s really nice and warm! he shouldn’t be nice, he should be rude and being hated by practically everybody. and the biggest flaw is Harriet’s fate! gosh, i hate how it ends. the stakeout is good. but the result, it’s such a disappointment for me.

however it’s covered by Lisbeth’s adventure, ha!

in this version, there’s not any mention about Lisbeth’s mother. instead there’s Holger Palmgren. yeah, good distraction.

what satisfied me was in both versions, Lisbeth’s revenge is so awesomely taken, ha! πŸ˜€

yeah i tried so hard not to do spoiler here, so for you who wants to read or watch, it’s still as great as i felt πŸ™‚

so i finally arrive in the end of this post.

thanks for reading, please leave a comment if you want πŸ™‚