Movies based on Books, and how well they are interpreted.
I once read that when she first started her Kinsey Millhone series, Sue Grafton said she would never let
get their mitts on her books. And I
was split 50/50 with her on that because 1/ I assumed any sale to Hollywood meant hundreds
of thousands of dollars, but 2/ I’d seen so many characters and stories slashed
to ribbons on the screen that I felt she was justified. Hollywood
Well, I’ve learned since that like advances for books, only a few get those big bucks for their work. And I’ve seen enough movies based on books to know that Sue had a major point in rejecting the big and little screen. I’m inclined to wonder why Hollywood buys these books, if they intend to rewrite them, change the characters and make them unrecognizable to fans of the original work, why bother?. It has been suggested that they just want to piggyback on the success of the author and her/his work, and I’m inclined to accept that.
But there are always exceptions.
I recently went to see Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, the English version with that cutie pie, Daniel Craig. (I’ve always liked him ever since I first saw him in Minette Walters’ The Ice House, which by the way was a real chop job.) I say English version as I did see the Swedish version too. The Swedish version did cut the book up and just went with the mystery. If you haven’t read the book, the part that captures everyone’s attention is the character of Lisbeth Salander and her story, however it is also an excellent cold case murder mystery (with a major twist), investigated by a journalist and high tech researcher, and a family saga. The part that got the least attention was the main character and his story, Mikael Blomkvist. His story encompasses a lot of political history and corporate intrigue of
as well as how a journalist and his publication can get sued over stories, and
didn’t seem to interest a lot of people. Frankly, having lived through the
hippy era, and the number of people running off to that land of ‘seeming’
perfection, I found it very interesting. OTOH, I’d already read, The Laughing
Policeman. (I’d also seen the movie, AND wasn’t that the most ghastly
Oh yeah, Mikael. So was I ever pleasantly surprised to see the English version taking up his story, too. Yes, they changed a few bits, but nothing that would harm Stieg’s story. (For those of you who have read the book, no
—you know what I mean.) It
was a long movie, it had to be to take in this much, but I didn’t find myself
anything but engrossed the whole time. It did leave out Salander’s mother and
father except for a few comments, but it did include her first advocate. I’m
inclined to believe the makers of this film will also do the second book, The
Girl Who Played With Fire and add in all of Salander’s back story. Australia
I saw it with my Swedish American friend, Barbara, and she actually like this version more, too. We are both very fond of the whole series, and I’m sure we will be watching it again from Netflix.
I honestly believe Ronney Mara deserves every award she is or will be nominated for, as she did a fabulous job, but so did the actress, Noomi Rapace, in the Swedish version. Noomi also did a good job in the Swedish version of The Girl Who Played With Fire, but it too was much abbreviated. The Swedish movie must have been well received in
Europe, because while the first movie had subtitles, the
second movie was dubbed and you could have it in several languages.
If you have seen any of these, your pros and cons are most welcome. Any good examples you’d like to chime in with? By the way, I mean individual movies, not series like Lord of The Rings.
Oh, and another book coming to the screen that we all have our claws and fangs ready to extend for is One For The Money. Get Ready.