The Girl Who...

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest, Channel 4 27th, 28th, 29th December, produced by Yellow Bird, directed by Niels Arden Oplev. Based on Stieg Larrson’s posthumous Millennium series and staring Noomi Rapace as the eponymously named Girl (Lisbeth Salander) and Michael Nyqvist (as Mikael Blomkvist ,) publisher of the Swedish political magazine Millennium, who in the first scene is shown losing a libel case against the owner of a multinational company. If we scroll back about six months we’ll find me upstairs in Asda speed reading through the first book and getting to about page 25 with my partner shopping on the battlefronts below. I didn’t get time to come back and nick the book, but I might find the necessary time later. The trilogy is made up of a number of interlinked stories. The first involves a missing person, Harriet, niece of the former CEO of the Vanger Corporation. This is a classic whodunit of Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians, but with the board members of the Vanger Corporaton in the frame. Three of the brothers were neo-Nazis and collaborators during the Second World War, which, of course doesn’t make them bad people in the way that running a multinational company might. They are immediate suspects. The second story which intertwines and is the basis of the second and third films is Lisbeth’s own story. She was incarcerated in a mental institution aged twelve after dousing her father with petrol and setting him alight. We are led to believe he dies, but old Soviet defectors are hard to kill off. He survives and fathers a son, half-brother of Lisbeth a mutant giant, think Richard Kiel as Jaws in The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker, give him blond hair and a neurological condition that means he can’t feel any pain and you’ll get the picture. A rogue unit within the secret service protects father and son, and they do pretty much what they want. It’s the usual sort of abuse: women, drugs and murder, but not necessarily in that order. The more graphic scenes involve Lisbeth’s own abuse by those whom are meant to be caring for her. Her health care guardian makes her give him a blow job to access her own money. He later ties her up and brutally rapes her at his home. Her psychiatrist at the hospital she is incarcerated at is a paedophile and also ties her to the bed. These are shocking scenes in any language. Lisbeth survival is the chrysalis of the story and she prospers because of her intellect. She has a photographic memory and with her computer buddy Plague can access encrypted net files in the public or private domain. These are high tech geeks that live in a parallel world. The world of the straights is filled with incest, rape, prostitution, serial killers running multinational companies and government departments that protect their own at any cost, so who can blame them?

The real shocker is Channel 4 showing these in the early bird hours. Didn’t they know that The Killing and Wallander were the best shows on BBC 4? Despite the subtitles they had a massive following and were highly acclaimed. This was the best thing on television this year and I’m including The Killing. The one good thing about it being on so late was adverts were kept to the minimum. Good for me and other watchers. Stupidity on Channel 4’s part that Lisbeth would find difficult to believe.


I've read all three books Celtic. I couldn't put them down. They were fantastic. So well written. Pity he died so suddenly- the author. Lisbeth Salander was so good- haven't seen the films though. But will when they come to Danish television.

I'll need to read them Pia, which is perhaps the wrong way of putting it. I want to read them, but there are so many squillions of things I want to read. One thing I did notice I've got the Hollyood version of The Girl with The Dragon Tatoo on DVD, which I haven't seen yet, of course they have Daniel Craig (James Bond) as Mikael and I'm not sure who plays Lisbeth, but she is irredeamably pretty, even with a Goth haircut. No ugly people allowed!


If you can get around to it do read the books- they are pretty long, each of them but they are jam packed with excitement- I expect they have left out a lot in the films. It's sort of the wrong way round to do things film first and then books isn't it. But I don't see many films anyway so I manage to read the books first. Yeah I knew Daniel Craig was Michael Blomkvist but I don't know who Salander is- I didn't know there was a Hollywood version and an english one? yes definitely a genius writer Larsson.

I will Pia. As I said (in my blog) I've read the first 20 odd pages. I know I'll enjoy them, but as you say probably the wrong way to do it, films first, but if there's a wrong way of doing things I'll find it!