It's a frustrating truth that having devoured the Millennium Trilogy by Steig Larsson, Cloud and I were desperate to see the film version(s) once we realised that the Swedes had quickly gotten films made of the hit books.
We scoured the net, watched the trailers and groaned in disbelief that UK/US screenings were being delayed because English language versions were being developed.
We lost track of the release dates a bit then, but when we arrived in New Zealand we were delighted to discover that Boxing Day saw the release of the first film in NZ. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo would be out in New Zealand during our stay - and screening at local cinemas!
So today (27 December) Cloud and I drove out to the Kaiapoi Picturehouse Cinema to see the movie.
This has to qualify as one of the most LOVELY cinema going experiences of our life: plush comfy sofa seats, no stinky popcorn smells, a welcome from the owners and a lovely fair-trade cafe-bar to relax in before and after the show.
The film stays true to a lot of the book's violence and horror, which some may find gratuitous, but overall the tone is both fair and honest to the depictions of the text. Sure, Rapace isn't quite gawky enough to convey the full vulnerability and strength of Salander, but it is hard to imagine how anyone could capture her physique as written in film terms. The sort of short-cuts one would expect appear in the film, but nothing so glaring as to detract from the narrative, and those not as familiar with the book(s) won't be left too baffled.
It's ultimately an efficient thriller, which is exactly what the book is, but with a central figure in Salander who captures the imagination.
Strange and weird we had to travel half the world to see it!! But what a fabulous cinema experience it allowed us.
If anyone is in the South Island area of NZ, make a visit to the lovely Kaiapoi Picturehouse Cinema and relax into your film.