Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Supplies Solid Populist Suspense

I've been meaning to see what all the hype about The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is about for quite a while. I bought the hardback novel for $1 at a thrift store a couple of years ago but never read it. I think I may have even purchased it on Kindle, but never got to that version either.

I even recently read the long New Yorker feature on dead author Stieg Larsson. So enough was enough. It was finally time for me to watch the 2009 Swedish movie on Netflix Instant (Daniel Craig is pegged to star in an upcoming Hollywood remake).

And if there's one thing the Larsson/Tattoo phenomenon confirms, it's that Americans (and indeed, most pop-culture lovers the world over) go wild for shock, awe, and taking things one step further than they've ever gone before.

A cynic might say this movie is simply a ripoff of The Silence of the Lambs. The two movies do have similarities, but a gripping, suspenseful murder mystery is pretty tough to argue against. Mikael Blomkvist is an investigative journalist who is being trailed by Lisbeth Salander, the title character, who is undergoing a string of highly troubling events.

The two eventually work through their disagreements and team up to get lost in a web of intrigue that includes industrialists, Nazis, sadistic rapists, and a general collection of puzzle pieces scattered all over the world. What more could you really ask for? This is a highly entertaining and complex (without actually making your brain hurt like, say, Lost does) populist tromp.

**** out of ***** stars

1 comment:

  1. Just read your Girl With the Dragon Tattoo review. Interesting, because I had the same thoughts. I got it on my Kindle, read a couple pages and didn't get back to it until recently. When I finally got around 50 pages read, I couldn't put it down. To me it was darker reading than I usually like to read (Stephanie Plum - bounty hunter) but of course I had to finish it. Then, like you, I followed up with my free Netflix to make sure I understood it all. I learned there was material from his second book that was added to the movie. I didn't realize it's rather like a trilogy. Now I'll have to start The Girl Who Played With fire. I'm hooked. BTW, Stephanie Plum books are all the same...funny, but you probably should not waste your valuable time on them.