Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Character, Plot and Dragon Tattoos

I went to see The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo tonight and it got me thinking about plot and character, again.

On the absolute plot level, this film (and I assume the book, too, but I haven't read the book), is a who-done-it type murder mystery with a thriller/suspense edge. But it's so much more than that, and I couldn't help but think of how it rises above other popular books/movies in that same ilk like, say, The DaVinci Code.

Both had an intriguing mystery to solve, both have danger and life-threatening situations, both have chills and thrills, but the big difference is that Dragon Tattoo also has interesting characters.

Really interesting characters, whom we really care about, and worry about, and have unanswered questions about.... And the backstory for the one character is held back until virtually the end of the film but we're so fascinated by her (or at least I was) that I actually wondered at one point if maybe I'd be okay if we never found out what had happened to her. I actually started to think that they were going to hold that info back... because I knew there was a sequel (for the book, anyway).

I just read a bit of the description of the second book The Girl Who Played with Fire and it does have the same characters and it does sound like we find out more about her... Hmmm... Thinking I need to buy this book now. Too many books, not enough hours in the day.

Anyway. Good film. A few scenes were hard to watch, but a highly entertaining film.

On another aside... I don't know the story of how/when this bestselling book got optioned... but I also thought it was bold to do the film in Swedish with subtitles... After the book took off so big in its English translation, I'm sure there was huge pressure to do the film in English or even move it to Maine or someplace like that. Glad they didn't.


Karen W said...

I've got to quit reading this blog - you guys keep making me buy books. (Just kidding!)

I've now ordered this one on my Kindle.

Stephanie Doyle said...

I agree. I read a book a week and I feel like I'm missing SO many books!

The Da Vinci Code was an abomination in characterization. (Otherwise very fast moving plot - totally get why people loved it). But that point last week about needing to have an arc...yeah not so much for Dan Brown.

I would be interested to read a book that had both elements combined.

Molly O'Keefe said...

I can not believe they filmed it in Swedish!! That's crazy. I also heard that the female lead while a great character - the actress is really outstanding.

I love it when genre ups it's game. I can't imagine I'll see this movie - "scenes that are hard to watch" are not a part of my movie going experience these days. But I will remember it for when I'm not such a wimp.

Sinead M said...

I want to read the book and then watch the movie, so badly.... heard a lot of great stuff about this movie..

Maureen McGowan said...

Sinead, I think this book/movie would be totally up your alley.

Karen. Sorry. ;) Let me know if the book's as good as the movie. I have a feeling it will be.

Steph. That's what I kept thinking... it combined those elements well. Lots of detailed investigation stuff but fascinating people, too.

Molly... only one scene that's really tough. You could take it.

Eileen said...

Ooh! I just stole, er, I mean borrowed this one from my mother. It's next on my TBR pile. Yay!

About the movie . . . I've heard that there are American Hollywood versions of the movies in the works.

Kwana said...

Thanks for this Maureen. You are really selling me on the book now.

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