Journalist Mikael Blomkvist, convicted for slander, is hired by industrialist Henrik Vanger to solve the 40 year old disappearance of his niece Harriet, but Mikael soon finds out he's getting help in...
Lisbeth is recovering in a hospital and awaiting trial for three murders when she is released. Mikael must prove her innocence, but Lisbeth must be willing to share the details of her sordid experiences with the court.
A former FBI profiler with the ability to look inside the mind of a killer begins working for the mysterious Millennium Group which investigates serial killers, conspiracies, the occult, and those obsessed with the end of the millennium.
Even at 3h per book the adaptation feels rushed and disjointed
There are parts in the books that can easily be edited out. Now adaptation is not easy, it's not just about reducing 500 pages of prose down to 180 pages in script format.
Caveat: the first book (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, or Men who didn't like Women if you take the original Stieg Larsson title) was thought as a 2h movie adaptation before the series format came about. So the first two episodes are to be judged as an inflated version of the first Millennium movie. Actually they just added some scenes that had been left on the editing floor. Anyway the result for this first adaptation really feels disjointed. All the claustrophobic sense specific to this investigation, the slow rhythm of seasons with the long snowy swede winter in the middle, all this is rushed, key scenes are hurried in and characters are bullied around.
Michael Blomqvist is supposed to be the hero in the book, Salander only becoming his sidekick in the process. Fast, she proves to be the interesting edgy character. Less efficient Blomqvist seems dull, predictable, unexceptional. It's a mystery why women find him attractive. But well, in the book you can imagine it's all in his eyes, his smile or whatever. And then the actor they chose just plainly embodies the dull idealist reporter that is so obvious in the book. OK, maybe Stieg Larsson left too much for us to imagine in the book, but that's not an excuse for producers to stick with a character that doesn't go beyond the flat paper-thin Kalle Blomqvist. Either they didn't try harder (best-sellers tight production schedule) or they were not good enough to do a proper adaptation, including rethinking of the storyline and characters to recreate rhythm and suspense.
Now with the second book, the worst in the Trilogy (slow, going around in circles, leaving you time to anticipate everything) there was room for improvement... but the utter failure of the first two episodes, totally missing the Millennium substance transcription to pictures, only left me with the idea to wait for the upcoming American adaptation.
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