Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Girl Who Played With Fire

I'm excited to hear there is movement, if sluggish, forward on the sequel to The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire.  But I'm concerned about what director David Fincher says in this article.  He wants to make it his own thing allegedly because there was criticism that he followed the book too closely? 

Really?  Really?  If that is even true, this is one of those cases where not every opinion is valid.  Some are just stupid.  Followed the book too closely?  Is that even a thing?

I'm willing to bet that's a bogus response, anyway.  What I suspect is that they're going to try to write more Salander into the sequel.  That's what the Swedish version of the film did after all, and people seemed content with it.  Besides, Rooney Mara got an Oscar nomination for her role as Salander.  It was huge.  How is more Salander a bad thing?

Here's the deal, though.  Girl Who Played With Fire is awesome because it takes that character we know to be competent yet brutal -- and we love her for it -- and makes her the prime suspect in a gruesome murder.  And then we don't see her for the majority of the story.  She disappears after we see her alone with the soon-to-be-victims.  We know she is definitely capable of a murder like this.  But we, like Blomkvist, have no idea why she would do it.  We care about her like he does, we know she's able like he does.  And we want to know where she is, like he does.

That may not sound like much, but it's so exciting to be in exactly the same situation as the main character in the story.  I've never experienced anything like it in a book.  To me, it is the most essential part of the story and the trick it pulls off most successfully.  Perhaps in the entire trilogy.  It also makes those precious few moments we do see her all the more meaningful.  To rob movie-goers of that experience will cheapen the film irrevocably. 

Mr. Fincher, I urge you to follow the book closely.  It's such a fun ride.  If you want to make it your own, don't fall into the same traps as the Swedish version.  Besides, people who have read the book don't want to see something new.  We want to see what we imagined come to life.  Fair warning:  any changes you make we'll probably hold against you.


  1. I'm going to say that "followed the book too closely" is a valid criticism. If I want the book's version of the story, I'll read the book. Every time something of artistic value is transferred, redone, or otherwise rereleased with a new person at the helm, there's room for artistic license. I think there's some value/validity in expecting that artistic license.

    1. Artistic license, sure. But if you take a look at Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, there's no denying Fincher left his mark on it. He displayed his art while being true to the story. There's definitely a balance there; I'm more in favor of a movie erring on the side of faithfulness to the source material. My issue is that they're talking about changing something in Played With Fire that was the most enjoyable part for me.