Men who hate women: the original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

män som hatar kvinnor girl with a dragon tattoo noomi rapace mikael nyqvist swedish version 1 swedish love affair

The original Swedish title is "Män som hatar kvinnor", which translates into "Men who hate women". This photo shows Noomi Rapace and Michael Nyqvist as Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist.

I didn’t like Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo books much. I’ve read a lot of crime fiction, and for me The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo stands out as a bad example with an over-the-top plot and a shallow sense of suspense.
The only thing about the franchise I enjoyed was the first Swedish movie. Parts two and three are very bleak in comparison, but part one has good pacing shows lots of beautiful Swedish scenery. Both Michael Nyqvist and Noomi Rapace give terrific performances as Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander.

Against my better judgement, I went and saw the American remake as well. As expected, it didn’t bring anything new to the table, and most scenes felt like lesser versions of their originals. Sure, Daniel Craig is hot, but to me, Michael Nyqvist is more charismatic. By the way,  Michael Nyqvist stars in the new Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol along with Tom Cruise. I haven’t seen that one yet, but I will as soon as I get the chance.

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13 Responses to Men who hate women: the original Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

  1. TA says:

    I really liked Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth, but I thought Rooney Mara came across as younger and a little more damaged and vulnerable like how I thought Lisbeth was in the books. What other Scandinavian books or any books in general do you recommend reading?


    • christian says:

      For what it’s worth, I like Henning Mankell’s Wallander books.

      • lola says:

        I also read a lot of crime fiction and I LOVE Wallander! The books of course and also the Swedish series (not the BBC one with K Branagh) — when the Stieg Larsson books (and then films) started getting all the press I wondered, what about Wallander? He has been there all along and no one made such a big deal about him. I think Larsson appeals to American audiences as a bit more over the top and less subtle; having not read or seen them, that is my take on it. Americans at least don’t appreciate subtlety I’m afraid. (speaking as one of the few who does)

        • christian says:

          I have not seen the Swedish series. Friends had seen the BBC one and recommended it, and I do like Branagh, but I just don’t think the series is true to the character of Wallander and certainly not the setting and whole tone of the local.

  2. Arantxa says:

    3 years ago I read the first book and the truth is that I found entertaining but I did not like enough to read the next two (although I have them). As for movies, I saw the 2 versions and I must admit that the American version is a copy that does not add anything new to the story. Personally I prefer the Swedish version, actually I thought that is bad enough that American gentlemen have made their own version of history as soon, as at least here in Spain 2 years ago that we saw the Swedish version in theaters.

  3. I really didn’t like Mikael Nyqvist in the Swedish movies, he did not, in my opinion, make a great acting job at all. For that reason, and because I was pleasantly surprised by the authentic feel of the American version, I sort of liked it! But maybe I’m just a sucker for the americanised movie scene hehehe… I’m brain washed!

    When it comes to the book, even though I agree the story is over the top and might not be overly well written, the thing that makes them stand out is the Lisbeth character – don’t you agree? I haven’t read a lot of crime fiction myself so I don’t know for sure, but isn’t a female character like Lisbeth’s sort of unusual in the genre? Or in general for that matter?

  4. IgrekBaby says:

    As for me, it’s not a good idea to take Noomy Rapace playing Salander. In Larson’s books we’re seeing a skinny woman who’s looking like a teenager. Not like in the Swedish movie.

  5. Ana_ILTdP says:

    Wow! What a funny coincidence, I’ve finished watching the 3 swedish movies last week. I decided to see the swedish version after I went to cinema to see the american remake.

    I like both Lisbeths, but I really think they make different roles, Rooney Mara is more about a traumatized Lisbeth while Noomy Rapace is a hardcore woman even though all the trauma situations she passed through. I find Rooney M more emotional and Noomy R more coldblooded.

    American remake is tougher (rape scenes and so on) than the swedish, I don’t know if the book is that cruel or not. I find weird that americans depict such hard scenes (and swedish not that much), it’s not very american style.

    About Michael Nyqvist vs. Daniel Craig. Again, different roles, don’t know which one to pick. Maybe I like less Michael Nyqvist because I think he lacks the push his role needs (in my opinion, of course).

    Overall, which of the films is closer to the books?

  6. Natasa says:

    I’ve seen both versions, and as much I loved the Swedish version that much I hated the American one. Come on, the actors were speaking English (Robin Wright) with a fake Swedish accent…
    As for the main actors, I liked Noomi so much that I think I cannot view Rooney in this role objectively.
    Michael Nyqvist is very attractive, charismatic and convincing in the role of Blomqvist. Daniel Craig is too much bodily present, I had a feeling he would suddenly turn into a James Bond (btw I love him as a James Bond:-)

  7. Leia says:

    You know, I tried to read the first book and couldn’t get past one chapter. I could never see what all the hype was about.

  8. Pingback: Wallander: More on Scandinavian crime fiction | Swedish love affair

  9. Chiara says:

    I love the books… I only read them really late, but once i began i could’t stop. (it also helped that i was on the backseat in the car while driving home to the Netherlands from Sweden – a long ride!)
    It didn’t feel over the top for me. The beginning of the first book was a little boring, but after that i couldn’t stop reading.

    I haven’t seen any of the movies though. I’m affraid of the rape scenes and the violence :-p
    If i would watch, i would deffinately go for the Swedish version. I really hate every American version of good European tv-series or film, it never gets better.

  10. Pingback: Scandinavian Noir TV series: Bron or Broen or The Bridge | Swedish love affair

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