Unless you live under a rock, you should by now be very aware of a little phenomena known as the Millennium Trilogy, a series of novels written by the late Swedish author Steig Larsson that has captivated the imagination of audiences globally and has become the hot fictional bestseller worldwide of the past few years. Over $15 million of you have bought and read a copy in the U.S. alone and I imagine millions more have loaned out copies that have been passed on by those eager to recommend this dark and twisty macabre tale. With David Fincher's and Sony's English-language film adaptations of the novels to hit cinemas on December 21st (US) and December 26th (UK) as 'The Feel Bad Movie This Christmas', there truly is no better time to look at what has made this unique series such a captivating success. It was a little over a year ago after recommendations from just about everyone I knew that I finally caved in and decided to read The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Published 2005/ in English 2008). After deciding to get on the bandwagon, I was immediately hooked and I cursed myself for waiting so long to embark on this journey. I quickly bought the sequels before I had even finished the first book so I could read those straight through without delay. I also then bought the Swedish film adaptations as soon as I could and have now seen that trilogy multiple times. There was one simple reason for this mini obsession with this story. Lisbeth Salander. Salander was a character like I had never experienced before. She is unlike any other protagonist in fiction; she is severely flawed, not all that likeable but her brute harshness (especially her attitude to men where she takes a certain special pleasure to punishing them and exposing their flaws) and introverted nature is effectively paralleled by her more traditional and likeable co-protagonist Mikael Blomkvist. Blomkvist is often sidelined (much as I did above) for Salander despite featuring in the books more prominently than the title character. However without him she would not be able to open up, however slight, to those moments when she truly shares her inner self with another person. The glimpses of the kindness she shows to Blomkvist and a select few others make her a more grounded character and one we are more willing to believe in. Lisbeth is also bisexual, a major theme and character trait that is developed over the course of the three novels. Salander is a uniquely strong, uncompromising and individualist female character in fiction and can be seen as a role model for similarly damaged people who have survived as grueling a childhood as she. The controversial rape scene is one often brought up the most in discussion and there is no doubt that her influence and experiences in the novel are already having an effect and are being felt in other media. For example in the currently ongoing Brit series of Misfits a potential rapist is given a similar treatment that Nils Bjurman receives. I would be surprised if this was not a direct reference. The book's title in its original Swedish translates as 'Men Who Hate Woman'. This is a very accurate description of the events and some of the people in the book. Whilst the story has made me never want to visit Sweden, it has highlighted perfectly the horrors that can befall women. I believe this is the kind of reception that Steig Larsson would want, due to his previous experiences that inspired him to write the books in the first place and the issues presented are clearly something that Larsson felt very strongly about. Noomi Rapace' much lauded portrayal of Salender is an amazing sight to behold, she gives the perfect amount of strength and vulnerability in her performance. In David Fincher's remake, he has brought his Social Network star Rooney Mara over to play the role and given her a on-screen makeover. Before he cast her, it was said Fincher was "looking for authenticity and a degree of fierceness and believeability capable of delivering the intensity that the part on the page calls for. Salander is the dark, edgy and mysterious core of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and she represents everything that the novels are about. They are a tale of twisted macabre, a horror/thriller story that keeps you guessing, never showing all it's cards as you try and unlock it's mysteries. Sony's The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo opens in just a couple of weeks and there is truly no better Christmas present than knowing David Fincher, the man behind such twisted films as Se7en and Fight Club is the man behind this new adaptation. From all the trailers and the clips that have been released over recent weeks, we really couldn't be more excited and the new 8 minute preview that Sony have put hint towards an epic sized thriller, not since The Silence of the Lambs have we seen a murder mystery film look so dark. Sony and David Fincher's The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo will be released December 21st (US) and December 26th (UK). As coincidence would have it, the year's must-see movie also happens to be released in the last week of the year.
Hey. My name is Addison. And I am a Film Addict. My addiction began when I was a young lad, but it was controllable... For a while. As I entered teendom, my condition worsened. Slowly all my shelves began to fill with DVD cases. I hadn't even watched them all. I still haven't.