The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has so far inspired three novels, three Swedish films, a Swedish miniseries, and now an American film, to be released in time for Christmas, and Oscar nominations.
The titular character and heroine of the story is Lisbeth Salander, a 20-something hacker turned investigator for a private security firm, who is basically a loner, but beds girls or guys, as the spirit moves her. She is hired by journalist Mikael Blomkvist, who normally specializes in exposing corporate corruption, to help investigate a 40 year old murder, a project which becomes more and more dangerous, the closer they get to the truth. At the same time, unresolved issues from her troubled past come back to haunt her as she becomes trapped in the web of an abusive man who has legal control over her. She struggles to find a way back to independence and to hold on to her sanity.
Starring in the new film are Daniel Craig (James Bond movies) as journalist Mikael Blomkvist; Rooney Mara (The Social Network) as Lisbeth Salander, the girl with the dragon tattoo; Christopher Plummer as Henrik Vanger, the retired CEO of the Vanger Corporation, who sets the last chance murder investigation in motion; Stellan Skarsgård as Martin Vanger, current CEO; Robin Wright as Erika Berger, Blomkvist’s partner in Millennium Magazine and part-time lover; Goran Visjnic as Dragan Armansky, Lisbeth’s boss at the security firm.
After reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo this summer, I’m guessing that the character of Kalinda Sharma on The Good Wife, was inspired by the character of Lisbeth Salander. They are both young, slender, intelligent, dark haired, mysterious, bisexual loners who work as investigators, have a troubled past and sleep with both females and males, without any angst or issues about their orientation. The main difference, besides being of different ethnicities, is that Lisbeth’s style is more punk and piercings, while Kalinda is more of a miniskirted fashionista in leather expensive jackets and boots, but their sense of style, as well as their personalities, are both edgy. And I’m pretty sure Kalinda has a tattoo somewhere…
Movie critic Roger Ebert was fascinated with the character of Lisbeth Salander in his review of the 2009 Swedish film,
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” is a compelling thriller to begin with, but it adds the rare quality of having a heroine more fascinating than the story. She’s a 24-year-old goth girl named Lisbeth Salander, with body piercings and tattoos: thin, small, fierce, damaged, a genius computer hacker. She smokes to quiet her racing heart.
Lisbeth is as compelling as any movie character in recent memory.
Author Stieg Larsson died before his novels were published, became best sellers and inspired four films. But his stories and characters have captured the public imagination. And probably a couple more sequels.